by Hygeia Halfmoon
"We know nothing 'til
PRIMAL MOTHERING. ..Birthing a New Humanity
"Women have millions of years of genetically-encoded
intelligences, intuitions, capacities, knowledges,
powers, and cellular knowings of exactly what to do
with the infant." Joseph Chilton Pearce
The modern world has made a token of the word "natural. In fact, very
little of modern humanity could be described as natural. Just because
modern living and thinking practices are prevalent and therefore considered
normal, that doesn't mean they are natural.
Thus, I have chosen the term primal as opposed to natural to refer to
the innate wisdom that transcends transitory theories and maintains its
integrity, despite the trends of the day. No matter what is done to the tree,
it is the tree's roots which will ensure its future. And so it is with primal
mothering, for its roots will save humanity when the storms of social trial
and error have stripped all but the infinite wisdom which rests securely in
This book is a wake-up call aimed at stirring your primal knowledge about
mothering. The ideas you read about in this book are neither prevalent nor
are they normal. In fact, they smell of heresy to those interested in
maintaining the status quo. However, if your mothering instincts scream
silently in pain while your actions hesitatingly follow in the wake of social
consciousness, then I hope to bring you home to yourself. If, for instance,
you are frustrated by society's message that, in these busy, modern times,
children are expected to be neither seen nor heard; if you wonder why the
physically-challenged minority in our society have been heard to the tune of
public access, while mothers being a majority continue to struggle with
over-sized toilet seats for their young in public bathrooms, NO KIDS/NO
PETS rental ads in newspapers, and a host of other discriminations, this
book is for you. Yes, this book is radical. These guiding
principles represent the roots of mothering that place of entrance where
nutrients converge to feed the tree in its entirety. Black Elk once delivered
a message which reminds us, "It may be that some little root of the sacred
tree still lives. Nourish it then, that it may leaf and bloom and fill with
singing birds." Though buried deeply from view in this modern age, the
instincts of women are alive nonetheless. One layer at a time, we find
ourselves again and, in doing so, we will put humanity back on track. We
will once again be free to be our true selves, teachers of love to a species
so easily led astray.
With the courage to admit, accept, and embrace our position as primal
mothers, we automatically become recipients of inner peace as the little girl
of us merges with our womanhood. Primal mothering is like walking
barefoot in a meadow of wildflowers. It brings us alive, awakens us from
the dismal dreariness of social consciousness, and relieves us of the guilt
and remorse that so often accompany decisions based in compromise.
Primal mothering touches our soul in a way that modern mothering methods
cannot. Primal mothering makes powerful women out of us because we flex
muscles that otherwise atrophy in the name of social acceptance. We
question authority, and then become the authors of our own mothering
careers, our own lives. By defending Nature, we guarantee our children
their right to a natural unfolding.
This is not a text-book of intellectual theory but rather, an invocation of what
you already know. But the paradox with instincts is that, though we are
born with them, we must be exposed to the daily rhythm of their reality in
order to activate and maintain that knowledge within ourselves. For
instance, if women around us are not breastfeeding or bonding with their
young, the wake-up call to our own primal mothering is muffled and we can
easily fall prey to such practices as bottle-feeding and mother-infant
We must silence the social chatter so we may hear the different drummer,
the urge in our hearts that cries "mother and child togetherness." I am
reminded of the story Jonathan Livingston Seagull where it was said, "He
spoke of very simple things, that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is
the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must
be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.'
Listening to ourselves and then taking action on the wisdom from within can
be a scary endeavor as we become vulnerable to attack by family members,
husbands, friends, religious leaders, medical workers, and others who
disagree with us. Laura Kaplan Shanley, author of Unassisted Childbirth
writes, "When we decide to take our lives into our own hands, we must be
prepared to encounter resistance. There will always be those who believe
we are not qualified to do so." Opposition strikes when we least expect it,
and it is only conviction to our instincts that pulls us through moments of
One afternoon, while pushing a cart through the produce section of my
neighborhood grocery store, the manager looked up and, upon noticing my
baby tucked securely against me in a baby sling barked, "Hey, why don't
you put your baby in the front of the cart where she belongs?" I said that
she was fine and happy to be next to me, to which he replied, "Spoiled
baby!" I was holding a bunch of overly-ripe bananas as he spoke those
words, raised them to his face, and showed him the true definition of
According to Webster's Dictionary, spoil means "to harm severely, to ruin, to
impair the quality of, to become unfit for use." When people tell us we are
spoiling our young, in the very moment that we are adhering to our
mothering instincts and giving them exactly what they need, we are torn
between their "expert" opinion and our innate knowing. Unfortunately, one
criticism can throw us off and leave us questioning virtually every aspect of
our mothering career. It takes a great deal of conscious contact with our
primal intuition to hold steady in times of judgment. We all know fruit only
spoils when it is neglected, when it is left to rot, when it is not enjoyed
fully at the ripe stage. Looking back at this definition of spoiled, could that
more accurately be describing the sad results of children who have not
been raised under the wing of a primal mother?
Primal mothering is an adventure in commitment. It leads us through
corridors past, present, and future. I cringe when, during times of guiding
my children, I hear myself sound like my parents. When this happens, I
commit to the inner healing necessary for me to erase those unhealthy
parenting tapes learned from my own past. I rise to the occasions of the
present, knowing the power to handle all situations resides in me. And I
celebrate my role in the future, where all of my efforts will be played out in
the generations to come.
Societal disapproval is something we must become immune to as we draw
nearer to the gentle prodding of our mothering instincts. Social pressure
may be applied by family members, husbands, friends, neighbors, community
leaders, churches, medical authorities, state laws, government policy, and
even worse our own minds due to all this cultural conditioning. Taking
flight means to loosen our burdens by learning to obey our hearts while
turning down the volume on society. Whether overt or covert, there's
always somebody who challenges our determination to self-govern.
I remember the time I gave my power away to a police officer. One night,
while seven months pregnant, I had a tire blow-out on the way home. I
pulled over and, without benefit of flashlight, began the challenging task of
trusting myself to change my own tire. A policeman drove up just as I was
loosening the last lug nut, preparing to feel the victory of my efforts. I
kindly refused his offer of help, but HE refused to honor my decision to fix
the tire myself. My personal goal finally gave way to his authoritarian
insistence... he finished changing the tire.
When he drove off, I felt ripped off. A challenge designed to empower me
had fizzled down to concern for the macho image of a uniformed cop.
Given my lifelong lessons in social obedience and protecting the male ego.
it's no wonder that I couldn't muster up the courage to send that police
officer on his way.
This obedience to authority is especially practiced by women in the realm of
medicine. Doctors tell us what to do, when to do it, how long to do it, and
when to stop. It's a pelvic gold-mine for medical profiteers, guised in the
belief that we, as women, know next to nothing about meeting the needs of
our pregnancies, our births, our babies, and the ongoing needs of our
On Easter morning twelve years ago, I enacted my own ascension by
deciding to take back my life and my health. I discarded my servile
behavior and walked away from an existence previously controlled by
societal pressure. What next? I felt free, but fragile. After all, I had not
been conditioned to think for myself, to listen to my innermost voice, or to
trust my instincts. I began a search for the answers to my questions. I
left college and traveled south until I happened upon the poverty-stricken
sidewalks of a Mexican village where I nearly tripped over a mother who
was sitting on the curb nursing her young.
In front of this mother/child couple rested an old tin can serving as a
collection plate to be hopefully filled by generous passers-by. When I put a
quarter into that can and heard the clinking sound of metal against metal, I
suddenly awoke from a deep sleep which had defined my life experience up
to that point. In that moment, my mission in life stared me in the face as
the song "Mother and Child Reunion" floated gently across my psyche. I
was observing human symbiosis; mother needing baby as much as baby
This lesson in mother-child interaction stayed with me to serve as a
cornerstone when, just one year later, while walking down a sidewalk, not in
Mexico but Oklahoma, my then-husband insisted I put our newborn into day-
care so I could go back to work. With the vehemence of a she-bear, I
growled back at him, "I will stand on this street-corner collecting coins
before putting my baby in day-care!" Twelve years and three children later,
I'm still committed to obeying my heart and my "tin can" is always within
reach, should I need it.
I always keep my eye on the mark, that place in time years down the road
when I will look back and feel good about my mothering decisions. Five
years ago, in the midst of a natural disaster, I was given the opportunity to
take inventory and determine if intuitive integrity had indeed ruled my
choices in mothering. Hurricane Iniki swept over our small island of Kauai
like the hand of destruction in a hurry and, with children in my arms and
the roof ready to fly, death seemed a near certainty. Rising above the fear
and anguish, like a phoenix from the ashes, came the scent of sweet
serenity embracing me, as it had for the poverty-stricken mother I saw in
that tiny Mexican village a decade prior. I had honored my mothering
instincts at every turn, and regret did not accompany me in these supposed
final moments of life.
When we tend to the needs of our young we are, in fact, nurturing
ourselves. We have the great benefit of feeling good about who we have
been for our children. Primal mothering is its own reward. Turning inside
ourselves, over and over again with each choice we make, our convictions
lead us to levels of serenity which no amount of materialism or social
approval can reach. Following our hearts comes more easily when we have
an understanding of the social myths surrounding mothering; myths which
have silenced our souls up until now. In returning to the realness that
exists inside the world of primal mothering, we can see the ridiculousness of
these myths which have been driving women away from their heartfelt
knowledge for too many years now.
One myth that reflects "modern" choices in mothering, as opposed to the
primal touch, is the idea that children are expensive. Building the financial
bank account prior to conception is fine, but certainly not a prerequisite to
entering motherhood. If we wait for all the conditions to be right, we may
not get started onto our path of mothering when we intuitively hear the call.
When we break free from following social beliefs that otherwise lead to
doctor and hospital bills, plastic carrying devices, baby furniture, infant
formula, jarred baby food, disposable diapers, and day-care, we are freed-up
to look with enthusiasm to the glowing benefits of being with and raising the
children who come through us, rather than grappling with finances. Primal
mothering offers equal biological rights to children born into rags or riches.
Outwitting poverty comes easy for those of us viewing life choices from the
context of true need, thus minimizing daily
stress and teaching healthy human values to our offspring.
Swimming upstream against social consciousness is indeed challenging, but
the paradox of upstream mothering is that the elements of it are
downstream and easy. For instance, forgetting formula feedings and instead
engaging our mill<- producing breasts mal<es the difference between the chore
of preparing bottles in the middle of the night not to mention having to
hold the bottle upright until our babies are finished and cleaning the bottles
come morning or pulling our infants closer to nurse at our breasts without
either ourselves or our babies having to come fully awake.
For many women in our society who want to raise children, waiting for all
the conditions to be right includes the notion "First comes love, then comes
marriage, then comes baby in a baby carriage." In truth, at least one third
of all babies in our culture are born out-of-wedlock, and fully half of
American mothers are raising their children single-handed. Prior to my
career in mothering, I was frightened at the idea of single parenting. But I
soon realized a clash was taking place between my mothering instincts and
the expectations that existed inside my marriage. I had to make a decision.
I decided single parenting was a necessary step toward my deepening
commitment to primal mothering, and soon realized it was far more soul-
enriching to raise my child without a partner than it was to lose sight of my
mothering instincts for the sake of appeasing a man.
As is always the case with following my heart, primal mothering has been
my ticket to personal growth. Codependency recovery has followed each
decision that embraced my mothering instincts. I've had to learn the art of
nurturing myself and meeting the needs of my children instead of
automatically and obligingly taking care of a man. I've had to steal away in
the middle of the night to enter the nearest women's shelter because I
finally agreed it's not acceptable to be hit and verbally abused by my
partner. And, while in those women's shelters, I've watched the way
mothers feel guilty for tending to their own needs, and feel confused about
what their children's needs really are. I have also seen how unimportant
those combined needs are to many authority figures.
One night, a young woman entered the back kitchen door of that women's
shelter bruised and bleeding with both a newborn and a toddler dangling
from her weary arms. After helping her lull those beautiful babies to sleep,
we helped her to calm down. She began to feel the safety of the shelter.
As she sipped a warm cup of tea and soothed herself with a deep heaving
cry, the phone in the hallway began to ring. It was the police
headquarters. The officers were upset because this woman's husband the
man who had beat her just an hour prior was ranting and raving in the
police station, demanding to know where his wife was and refusing to leave.
When the shelter staff member explained the young woman's recent abusive
experience, the officer coldly replied, "Well, tell her to get ready to leave
because we're on our way to get her. We're not going to have this guy
causing trouble around here all night!"
Less than fifteen minutes later, uniformed policemen were at that supposedly
safe kitchen door and the battered woman grabbed up her sleeping babies
and obediently left the shelter, only to head back out into the storm of
Domestic violence is deadly. More women die at the hands of their
partners than we can possibly imagine. For many more, their plight doesn't
show up in the statistics because the scars don't necessarily show on the
surface of their bodies. Emotional abuse is the internal injury of domestic
violence. Women must become empowered enough to first identify the
abuse and defend themselves by seeking an environment of physical safety,
then learn to avoid relationships and situations which are non-supportive of
both their needs and the needs of their young. We may need to accept
the reality that a generation or two of children will be fatherless, as each
gender faces and follows through with necessary healing for healthy human
Addiction recovery, breaking past codependency issues, inner child healing
these are the tools which light the way to a future of healthier family
systems. Until then, the primal mothering needs of our young continue to
exist and we can embrace this responsibility with a sense of determination
Because so many women find themselves struggling to get free from
relationship dysfunction, a growing percentage of mothers and children are
financially dependent on government programs. Welfare reform is an
important step toward building healthier families, but not the kind of reform
we so often hear about. Getting mothers out into the work-force and babies
into daycare does not nurture the seeds of mother/child togetherness. I
propose that welfare reform consist of leading women to recovery from
dysfunctional relationships via methods in both personal counseling and
group support, as well as instilling the art of financial independence by
developing entrepreneurial skills for creating home businesses, and
guaranteed business loans for implementing those businesses, thus protecting
and honoring the mother/child bond. In my book Anatomy of an
Accomplishment, I touch more in-depth upon the need to tap into our
deeper talents without sacrificing the
primal needs of our children.
For much of my mothering career I elected to use the welfare system
according to the vision I saw for myself and my family. I gratefully
accepted public assistance while at the same time working diligently on my
codependency recovery, developing my dance, writing books and offering
health consultation, as well as building my baby sling business in an effort
to create personal empowerment and a solid financial base. Though my
children were fatherless during those lean years, they were in the company
of a mother who was striving for healthier relationships with men; they were
observing the healing process of an emerging woman rather than enduring
the hurtful cycle of a submissive mother. While my daughters were
exposed to the rare dynamic of feminine self-care, my little son was learning
to appreciate his feminine side and thus all women.
Finding time to nurture myself as well as my children is a juggling act
which turns out to be easy simply because it is so necessary. When I take
care of everybody else and neglect myself, everyone else eventually suffers.
So I have learned how important it is, to find moments here and there,
even minutes and hours when family slumber rolls around, to recharge and
remember all the inner work that awaits me. Time management becomes a
mother's best friend, as we balance out the many roles and responsibilities
each day presents. As any mother well knows, random interruption is a
component of the production process. Writing this book is a perfect
example of what I am talking about. These last few paragraphs were
interspersed with wiping a baby's bottom, cutting up oranges, nursing
someone to sleep, putting away play-dough, and rewinding a children's tape.
When my third child Matthew was still an infant I kept a wide array of self-
realization bool<s on my writing table, strategically located next to my stuffed
rocker where he would nurse, where my toddler would cuddle with me, and
where my older daughter would sit on the arm of the chair while we
homeschooled. When my lap wasn't filled with my offspring, it became a
serving platter for all the inspirational books that healed me to the core,
clawing away at what character traits were impeding both my personal
growth and the quality of my mothering experience. I called it "Bittersweet
Mothering" because of the combination of clearing the wreckage of my own
past while assisting in the formation of a future generation, thus giving my
children the primal mothering I never had.
Togetherness is the key factor. It is the cornerstone to the primal
mothering experience. Trust and security are natural outgrowths of an
unbroken bond. In today's society, where mother and child separation is
the norm, mothers who obey their instincts and remain bonded to their
babies are often looked upon as over-protective, martyristic, and downright
neurotic. Courage and creativity become faithful companions to the mother
who clings to her newborn, turns her back on social norm, and further
relishes in the round-the-clock presence of her growing children.
People are always asking me how I can tolerate being around my children
all the time. I have a hard time answering them because I don't
understand the question. My instinct to remain connected to the primal
needs of my children is as natural to me as drawing the next breath.
When I first began submitting articles to various magazines and making
baby slings for the promotion of bonding, I was nurturing both my dream to
be a writer and my determination to finance my family's needs minus the
many-fold expenses of "going away" to a job. I was polishing my tin can,
so to speak.
Though my housing came to an abrupt halt as a result of my choosing to
live in our car over separating from my baby for the sake of earning rent
money, I continued feeding the dream of writing and attaining financial
independence while maintaining vigilance to family togetherness. Many of
my eventually published mothering articles were written by candlelight, late at
night, as I sat in the back-seat of my old Chevy Impala while my toddler
slept peacefully in the front. And by day I stopped every pregnant woman
and mother/baby couple I saw, demonstrating the wonderful benefits of baby-
wearing and selling slings along the way.
Some days were harder than others in those first years of mothering.
When my only certainty resided in honoring my mothering instincts while all
else in my life spelled confusion, I turned to Nature, the mother of us all for
a vision quest of two to four days up on a mountain, alongside a river, or
deep in the woods just me, my daughter, a jug of water, and open ears
which listened attentively to my inner voice. Sometimes I referred to
spiritual recipes handed down by my favorite authors. Once, when confused
about how to financially survive upon reaching my ultimate goal of moving to
Hawaii, I performed one of my favorite exercises in self-discovery that I
learned from the book Illusions. In this beautifully profound story of the
reluctant Messiah, author Richard Bach wrote about turning any piece of
literature into a magic book. He said, "You can do it with any book. You
can do it with an old newspaper, if you read carefully enough.
Haven't you done that, hold some problem in your mind, then open any
book handy and see what it tells you?" I grabbed the closest book and let
it fall open. With my eyes closed, I put my finger on a page and then, in
search of meaning to my confusion, I proceeded to read the particular
paragraph I was pointing to.
I could hardly believe my eyes! In this book about the spiritual journey of
a powerful woman called Peace Pilgrim, she was using this exact paragraph
to describe the time she went to Hawaii and slept on the beaches of each
island. She wrote about the beauty and peace of the people she met, and
that safety from harm is a condition we create by virtue of our thoughts and
expectations whatever we thinl< about expands. Reading this excerpt
calmed my fears and further readied me for my upcoming journey.
Years before I heeded the call to become a mother, I had glimpses of the
path that awaited me. In my twenties, while working as a burlesque dancer
in the nightclubs of Seattle I was continually plagued by the question,
"When I decide to be a mother some day, who will hold my baby while I'm
on stage?" Obviously a smokey strip joint is no place for a baby, but the
question in my mind back then made clear one important point: I was
destined and determined to remain with my young when motherhood became
my reality. My primal connection to mother-child togetherness was so potent
that it out-shined the rules of society surrounding me.
And, years later, when mothering became a reality in my life, togetherness
was simply a given. As a result of this instinctive conduct, my children and
I have experienced homeless shelters, living in tents, living in and traveling
in cars... but we've not chosen separation, so separation has not been our
experience. Needless to say, we enjoy a rich volume of memories as a
result of our choices. Like that Christmas Eve of 1991, in a two-person
dome tent on the sands of a Hawaiian beach, homeschooling one child
while pregnant with another.
I don't believe there is ever a time when we are denied the opportunity to
live up to our mothering instincts. After all, the only thing that shatters
dreams is compromise. We may have our imagination stretched beyond
measure, but so are the rewards beyond measure not only to ourselves
and to our children, but to the generations ahead who represent the
peaceful fruition of children raised according to the expectations of Nature.
If we hear ourselves saying, "I'd really like to be home with my children
but..." then maybe being home with our children has lost its place on our
list of priorities. I recall a friend crying one evening while nursing her four-
week-old daughter. When I asked what was wrong she sadly replied, "I
have to wean my baby because I need to go back to work in two weeks."
Mind you, this woman was a lactation consultant for the government WIC
program an agency specifically designed to encourage women to
breastfeed! I assured her that other options existed and enthusiastically
offered alternatives until she curtly interrupted me by saying, "I have to go
back to work because I love fine clothes, expensive jewelry, and my new
four-bedroom house." When I suggested she take her daughter to work
with her, she quickly changed the subject.
Necessary trade-offs are a constant theme in the life of women who choose
primal mothering; shifting priorities from possessing material things to instead
having family togetherness, and mustering up the courage to traverse across
lifestyles unimaginable to the general public.
Courage is the mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and
withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. What a gift, to show our children that
they win out over things which prove to be ephemeral in the long run, like
for instance making payments on a new car.
One family I met had this credo they refused to pay more than three
hundred dollars for a vehicle, and they did no auto repairs on the cars they
bought. When the car died, they simply called the wrecking yard to tow it
away, caught a cab home then proceeded to locate another vehicle for
under three hundred dollars. As each car seemed to average a life-span of
about one year, they kept their yearly transportation costs far below what
they would have faced if hooked into the need for fancier transportation.
The irony I have had the pleasure of knowing is the fact that, with my
cornerstone of family togetherness firmly in place, all of my personal desires
still come to fruition. With conviction and creativity, I have managed to
finish my college education with my first-born in a baby sling, give lectures
to large audiences with a toddler playing at my feet, and run a home
business writing books and making baby slings while homeschooling three
It's easier to play the role of a victim and have excuses for why we can't
do what we want than it is to accept responsibility for turning our wishes
into reality. In the words of James Allen, "The greatest achievement was
at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn; the bird
waits in the egg; and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs.
Dreams are the seedlings of realities." We are mothers with a mission, but
we are also people with a purpose. My book Anatomy of an
Accomplishment is designed to help us remember our underlying purpose on
the planet that we may become fully functioning artists in our own lives. As
females, our nurturing skills go beyond the immediate mothering experience.
The fate of humanity depends on the female intellect in all of its capacities.
Feeding our talents while fueling the future generation is a balancing act
which leaves us feeling elated and soul-satisfied. Women have been
expected to make a choice rather than nurture both their children and their
calling. The truth of the matter is that our world needs the impact of
female intelligence just as much as our children need primal mothering
throughout a given day. Joseph Chilton Pearce proclaims, "God knows we
need women in our politics and our medical places. We need some of that
base intelligence there in every walk of life." Women belong wherever they
want to be, in whatever capacity they can best serve humanity, and children
have a right to be with mom.
We need to take back our babies, our lives, our minds, and our bodies.
The medical establishment has built a financial empire by relying heavily on
their female clients. And somehow we have come to depend soley on
these "experts" for such natural practices as pregnancy, birthing, and caring
for our young. An even sadder thing about this displacement of power is
that some women have put so much of their faith in the medical
establishment they actually dissuade other females from taking back their
primal power. I remember the deluge of unsupportive mail I received from
readers of a particular newsletter I wrote for, after the publication of my
story about choosing an unassisted birth after my previous C-section. The
editor of the periodical had ended my article with a plea to her readers to
discourage me from my "irresponsible" decision to birth alone.
There are plenty of people who find it their duty to keep us obedient to
social limitation, but nothing can stop the woman who has glimpsed her
power as a primal mother. Those of us who feel this rebellion towards
modern mothering practices lay rationalization theory aside and increase the
volume on our intuition. We are not swaying to the latest convenient theory
about child development but rather, we are happily humming to the tune of
our own heart.
A Native American philosophy reminds us that in all deliberations we must
consider the impact our decisions will make on the seventh generation from
now. Primal mothering is earth-friendly; an environmentally-sound lifestyle
that respects our bodies, the bodies of our children, the body of Mother
Earth, and the psyche of all involved. Those of us who follow our
mothering instincts literally grow up inside ourselves, imparting that primal
wisdom and personal strength to our daughters while ensuring our sons a
safe home called Earth where violence is unacceptable. In turn, our
daughters will find it quite natural to take responsibility for their mothering
choices rather than let society dictate rules which don't reflect the true
needs of their young. By the seventh generation, primal mothering, the
natural way to raise humanity, will become normal and prevalent.
This book will change the course of humanity by bringing mothers and their
offspring back into daily harmony. Women looking within, transforming within
and then, by collective effort, transforming our species. This book is for all
women, single or with partner because the true, primal needs of our children
remain the same regardless of our marital status. Mothering is about
Nature, having nothing to do with our intimate attachments. Once that egg
is fertilized and we feel ready to follow through, we are mother first. Our
deepest attachment becomes that undying, ever-present role in the lives of
dependent children the seedlings of humanity who rely on us at every
Does all this sound idealistic? Does it seem impossible for the efforts of
one primal mother to make a difference? Keep in mind the Hundredth
Monkey concept, wherein one monkey choosing to wash her sweet potato at
the river's edge caused a shift in the consciousness of monkeys on other
shores. When enough people think and act a certain way, a shift in social
consciousness inevitably takes place, and that's exactly what I'm advocating
for the betterment of humanity. We need to roll up our sleeves and begin
washing sweet potatoes at the river's edge; we need to honor the call of
primal mothering because such obedience to our instincts satisfies our
hormones and nurtures the heart of future generations.
Think about this... less than a generation ago, NO SMOKING sections were
basically non-existent. And handicap access was seldom a concern of the
architect. Today, because enough people (and really not that many) rolled
up their sleeves and started washing sweet potatoes —so to speak —
smoke-free environments are now the norm, and an architect wouldn't think
of investing time in a blueprint that did not include the needs of a
When we decide to trust the flow that flourishes as a result of our heart-felt
convictions we are assured of the coincidences that guide us on our
journey. We tap into a universal language that speaks to our hearts rather
than hearing social mores that speak to our fears. And the primal link
between mothers across all cultures becomes clear to us as we work
together in defense of today's children and tomorrow's generations.
We are strong mothers building a gentle world. When we learn to respond
to our primal mothering instincts instead of reacting to social pressure we
come into our personal strength. In the book, Tao of Motherhood Vimala
McClure writes, "The truly feminine mother never cringes or defers. Her
strength is unshakable, like the earth upon which we walk but which can
topple us with a single deep breath."
This is the generation of women taking all the time they need to heal
themselves while learning to meet the needs of their young; giving children
all they need to grow into humans having a life experience that doesn't
require healing in the first place. Commitment is the key that turns
conviction into reality. This book is my commitment to add to the literary
ranks an owner's manual for those of us who occupy the feminine vehicle
and who accept the responsibility of raising humanity.
PREGNANCY.. .Building the Baby Within
"It may be that the first stage in an effective global revolution for peace will
be when male doctors accept progressively to retire from obstetrics and
return childbirth to women." Michel Odent, MD
When our female vehicle is activated into the developing role of motherhood,
we are hormonally and psychically equipped for the journey. There is
nothing lacking. We only need to listen closely to our inner voice and then
courageously live up to what that voice is saying. A male-dominated
mentality with all its medical gadgetry has driven most of us women out of
hearing range of our instincts, but the primal hormones keep coursing
through us, ever-reminding we are equipped with the tools to birth humanity
While stretching my body at the beach one day, a physically-fit man
approached me and asked, "Where did you get your yoga training?" I had
to laugh. I've never taken a yoga class in my life! I was simply following
my body's request for movement, as I reconnected to childhood memories
and my body's ability to resemble the likes of Gumby capable of moving
every which way and loose. The man seemed perplexed because, after
years of study, he had not accomplished some of the stretching poses
which came naturally to me.
And so it is with pregnancy. While the experts argue amongst any
information-seeker, the majority of females around the world (human and
non-human alike) go silently along from conception to birth with not a
complication considered or created.
Without experts tarnishing our instincts, the primal woman in each of us can
heed the inner call and simply manage to do right from start to finish. We
all possess this primal instinct, and it is my goal to help you clear away the
mental debris that may be separating you from this internal knowledge and
wisdom that has successfully carried humanity through its entirety.
It is only the last few centuries of "expertise" which have oppressed our
intuition. With such a long and impressive record of primal success resting
beneath technology's top layer of intrusion, it won't take too much effort to
un-earth the shine of primal mothering.
Part of the responsibility of mothering is recognizing when we are truly
ready for the responsibility of mothering. Upon learning that we are
pregnant, the first thing we need to ask ourselves is "Do I want to be
pregnant?" Not every woman thrills at the sight of a urine-stick turned
YES. For whatever reason, whether we are a teen-ager who doesn't feel
ready, a woman who prefers to wait, or a mother who already feels over-
whelmed, we must be honest with ourselves. I, personally, have had
several opportunities to practice this rigorous form of self-honesty.
As a child, I once had a dream that showed my giving birth to my first
child when I turned thirty-two, after receiving a college degree in philosophy.
The message in that dream stayed with me to serve as a time-line and
psychological guide for the upcoming years of turbulence.
My twenties were defined by drug addiction, eating disorders, sexual
promiscuity, and every other fatal bonding attempt known to the insecure
mind. That decade of confusion was accompanied by several pregnancies,
all of which ended in spontaneous miscarriage or abortion. Then, shortly
before my 32nd birthday and in my senior year of collegiate study, six
months after I had become sober and somewhat secure within myself, I
became pregnant again. With the baby's due date one month after
graduation, I l<new the time had come for me to step into the reality of my
Most women I knew had begun their mothering careers at a younger age,
and there were plenty of people who expressed concern that I might face
complications as a result of being in my thirties. I started connecting with
other women who were still enjoying pregnancies right into their forties, and
quickly overcame all concern over the timing of my pregnancy.
Today I have three children. During each of these pregnancies I used the
gestation period as a time for major re-construction of my life so as to
create a future which would accommodate my personal and financial needs
while staying true to mother and child togetherness. I did the best I could
with my outer world, knowing full well my success in that arena would pale
in comparison to the joy of non-negotiable togetherness. I kept in mind the
works of Thic Nhat Nanh from the book For A Future To Be Possible.
"The wealthy are often the least able to make others happy. Only those
with time can do so."
My first-born Sarah Lee was conceived after several months of psychic
interaction. She often came to me in dreams, always saying the same
thing... "Get your act together, I'm on my way." An important message
indeed, for at the time I was heavily addicted to drugs and my personal life
was a mess. Her insistent words jolted me into action and, by the time I
became pregnant, I had six months of sobriety from drugs, lived in a nice
apartment, and made enough money from my job to begin saving.
This conception pulled together all the pieces. Though I had earlier dropped
out of college to follow my urge to experience Mexico where I was
permanently altered by the sight of that breastfeeding mother I referred to in
chapter one, I was just one semester away from completing my
undergraduate degree. I would be thirty-two years old before my baby was
born, and my last abortion was accompanied by a dream telling me that my
next pregnancy marked the beginning of my mothering career.
Upon learning of this pregnancy my instincts took over and I knew that city
life, the high cost of living, and the stress therein were not conducive to the
needs of my developing family.
I, along with my then-husband, packed up our little red Vega station-wagon
and bought a small dome tent on our way out of Oklahoma City . We
located a small college town along a beautiful river where our new "home"
was pitched. I enrolled at the university and found work at a nearby
Thinking ahead to what would be the most efficient and economical lifestyle
for raising by baby, I decided to earn the money for a small 13-foot travel-
home and rent a small lot next to a creek at the trailer park located just
across the street from the university. The affordable, cozy, and convenient
living situation along with expanding education goals gave me a wonderful
sense of comfort, and the cornerstone my commitment to the career of
mothering held steady. Thoughts of continuing on to graduate school
offered not only a strengthening of my education but also an opportunity to
receive student loans which would keep my family financially afloat.
With my second pregnancy, my dream of moving to Hawaii was being
nurtured. Once again, prior to conception I received nocturnal visits from
this coming child. She strongly stated, "My name is Jasmine and, if you
will let me come through, I promise that we will all be on an airplane
headed for Hawaii by the day you are three months pregnant."
Now I had not even been considering the idea of having another child. But
I had been obsessed with the intense desire to raise Sarah Lee in Hawaii .
At the time of Jasmine's message I was without the financial means to
change my living situation. We were merely living from hand to mouth. It
seemed inconceivable that a move to Hawaii could materialize. Jasmine's
message returned one day as I was swimming in a cold creek, trying to
convince myself that Hawaii wasn't that important to me. With a faded half
moon hovering overhead, I surrendered to Jasmine's encouraging push
forward and that night I became pregnant.
True to the metaphysical law that the universe conspires to help those who
follow their dreams, my baby sling business suddenly blossomed into a
deluge of mail-orders, a friend whose son worked for the airlines got us a
huge discount on two one-way tickets and, despite all my disbelief, we were
on a Hawaii-bound airplane the day I turned three month's pregnant! Me,
Sarah Lee, and in-utero Jasmine Kokee landed on the island of Kauai with
$84.00 in my purse and a housing invitation that would expire in three short
We bought a small dome tent (I knew I should have kept the one from my
first pregnancy!) and hitch-hiked to a beautiful beach on the dry side of the
island where I set up house and lived happily throughout the next six
months of my pregnancy.
My third pregnancy was equally motivating. This time, I was sure I wasn't
having any more children. Then came the message ... "My name is Matthew
and my gift to you is peace." At the time of this celestial whisper, inner
peace was sorely lacking in my life. Though I was straight-up with my
mission of mothering, my personal purpose was getting off-track. I had
specifically moved to Hawaii to raise my children in a warm environment
where fruit grew abundantly AND to write motivational heath books amidst
the inspiring beauty of this tropical Paradise.
I was presently off-course, hiring myself out as a writer rather than heeding
the inner call of so many projects residing in my soul. When I'm not living
up to the definition of my dreams I'm stuck with a grinding anxiety that
keeps inner peace at bay.
Mathew was challenging me to expand my mothering responsibilities which,
in turn, turned up the desire on getting my financial/career act together.
Could I handle three children by myself? How was peace going to
materialize in a situation that appeared to me to be potentially
overwhelming? Then I remembered those days of dysfunction that gave
way to healthier choices with the coming of Sarah Lee, as well as my
skepticism when Jasmine promised Hawaii. In both cases, it all worked out
once I committed to the journey.
This third pregnancy saw my writing career blossoming. Book after book
resided in my soul, waiting to be brought forth in the written form. Matthew
was demanding attention to my writing goals as well as to my financial
future. After all, writing books would not be just about feeding my purpose
but it would also feed my family.
I wanted to set the scene for raising three children and writing books. I
created our dream home a quaint cottage with a huge yard and a
sweeping view of the ocean where I could comfortable grow the baby
within and watch my girls play while tending to my writing career.
One of the myths about pregnancy I find rather ironic is the idea that we
are now in a weakened state and need to "take it easy." Nothing could
be further from the truth. Pregnancy is a time when my life seems to be
at full throttle emotionally, psychically, mentally, spiritually, and physically.
With my first child, at six months pregnant I was working as a stocker in a
grocery store in the afternoons and on weekends, wrapping burritos at the
local fast-food place every night, attending college full-time, swimming thirty
minutes daily, and dancing up a storm at pow wows on weel<ends. With
my second child, I was walking as much as ten miles each day, foraging
for fruit, hiking, and dancing every night on the sandy beaches of Hawaii
With my third child, I also walked several miles daily but with the added
weight of two-year-old Jasmine on my back.
Sessions of exercise, especially the art of dance, gave me a chance to
more intimately interact with my womb-babies. Though I had been an exotic
dancer for ten years prior to mothering, and studied ballet at length during
college, none of my training compared to the internship that accompanied
my prenatal experiences. With each of my three pregnancies a specific
dance style along with particular preferences in music proved to reflect
the unique personalities of each of my emerging children.
My first daughter Sarah Lee is a powerfully psychic and extremely
compassionate child whose visionary skills are beyond measure. From the
moment of conception I found myself swaying to songs lil<e "That's The
Way Of The World" by Earth, Wind, & Fire and "Imagine" by John Lennon.
As the pregnancy progressed, those songs took a back-seat to Indian
drumming, and I was at every pow wow within a fifty-mile radius, dancing
solid until midnight . Just hours before giving birth I was twirling and
rocking to the ancient beat of the drum.
My second daughter Jasmine Kokee is capable of intriguing and teaching
everyone around her, strangers and family members alike. She transcends
all boundaries. How profound, that the songs I felt compelled to embrace
throughout her womb-time included such feminist classics as "I Am Woman"
and "You and Me against the World." Jasmine insisted I dance several
hours each night of her in-utero development. In my ninth month, when I
felt too tired to participate in late-night dance vigils, my arms started itching
terribly and I heard this faint voice telling me that only dancing would make
the itching go away. It worked! As most of my pregnancy was spent living
out of a tent along the splendid beaches of Hawaii, I met with my tape
player each night, just outside my blue cloth dome-home where I watched
the water splash seductively over the reef as my blossoming belly took over,
tiredness fading away.
My youngest, Matthew Renee is an observing soul who, though fully aware
of his rights and willing to defend them at every turn, assumes a relaxed
and peaceful personality. His womb-time was accompanied by popular love
songs and, to my complete surprise, country & western music! Each night
from my bay window I would look out at the Pacific Ocean and feel a
depth of inner peace unbeknownst to me in pregnancies prior. Cher's
beautiful song "After All" become a favorite, followed closely by "Wind
Beneath My Wings." In the air was an element of romance, a developing
love for myself, and the prompt deliverance of a peace promised in those
moments after conception.
This three-fold experience with meeting my children more deeply through the
art of dance and song paved the way for me to meet myself more deeply
in the same way. Even now, in this postpartum world of mine, each night
finds me slipping away from the family bed where my three angels sleep,
donning a soft pink nightgown, easing state-of-the-art earphones over my
thickly braided hair, and tuning in to the oldies but goodies that nurture my
soul and make me grow.
Exercise serves many purposes in pregnancy, one of which is preparing our
bodies for birth itself. However, those of us in the best of physical shape
can still end up with compromising birth experiences.
The single most important area of personal responsibility during pregnancy
lies in revealing to ourselves any and all belief systems about birth, and
clearing away any emotional issues that may stand in the way of enjoying a
perfect pregnancy and blissful birth. Understanding past birth experiences as
well as the cultural messages we have received up to this point makes it
easier to correct areas which might otherwise impede our path as we
approach the birth of our child.
Birth-clearing exercises are an excellent tool for transforming our psyche so
that we become more in tune with our primality. One of my favorite
exercises is called "The Great Debate." In the book I Could Do Anything
author Barbara Sher writes, "Whenever you leave your tribe (think differently
than the social norm) or even consider leaving your tribe, you set off a
debate in your mind between two skilled and ruthless teams of debaters,
each of which claims to represent you. Make those debaters in your head
go on record. Their arguments contain important information for you, and
you need to get it onto paper where you can take a good look at it.
Divide a sheet of paper into two columns. In one column record assertions
of the personal voice, so label this 'Personal.' The other column is for the
voices of conformity, the tribal voice, and should be labeled 'Tribal.' As you
do this exercise and learn from it, your tribal voice will not
suddenly disappear. It will keep disapproving, but from now on you will
stop confusing it with your own intuition."
Here's the exercise I did when pregnant with Matthew:
I want to birth alone, in the privacy of my home:
Tribal: What if something goes wrong? You'll hate yourself forever.
Personal: Learning to trust myself and believe in my heart-felt desires is so
important to me that I am willing to take any risks necessary to complete
my dream of primal mothering. I've denied myself a totally sovereign birth
twice. I'm taking everything I learned into this present experience. I am
ready and prepared for this.
Tribal: But what if the cord is wrapped around the baby's neck?
Personal: Then I'll unwrap it. I'm not will to dwell on what can go wrong
when just as much energy can be used to instigate, and thus manifest, a
Tribal: You should have somebody there. It's irresponsible to jeopardize
the life of you or your baby. And who's going to cut the cord?
Personal: Cutting an umbilical cord is not an academic endeavor. My
responsibility is to listen to myself and vote on faith, not make decisions out
of fear. Your fear-based perception is not my reality. Keep it to yourself,
If we can anticipate problems, then we can prevent them. And our biggest
problem, notoriously, is our own mentality. I highly recommend Jane
Roberts' book, The Nature of Personal Reality for the purpose of separating
yourself from any debilitating beliefs that could potentially pull you down at a
time when you are designed to be experiencing life's all-time high:
Pregnancy and Birth.
The clearing of our physical environment is a confirmation of our personal
inner growth. By my third pregnancy I was becoming an expert hound at
smelling out all the stress factors in daily life, and reducing tension where I
could. Traffic jams and child-detested car seats led me to the decision to
sell my car. I started a savings account with the money and moved to a
house within walking distance to everything I needed. I reduced the stress
of driving and instigated an excellent exercise program. With Jasmine in
the backpack and my expanding belly of Matthew Renee, Sarah Lee roller-
skated in front of me as I pulled the shopping cart into town for our daily
supply of fruit from the market and books from the library, smelling roses
along the way instead of fighting off exhaust fumes in traffic.
I revamped my priorities and prepared for the lifestyle that awaited me
raising three children. Hurricane Iniki had taught me a valuable lesson
about the truth of necessities. The massive storm had taken away
electricity and telephone service for several months. By candle-light I
changed diapers and came in touch with need versus convenience.
I used that previously attained knowledge to whittle my financial world down
to need, as I felt driven by my intuition to develop a substantial savings
account by the time of Matthew's birth. It seemed so odd to be a welfare
mother living below the poverty level and yet devising a plan to save as
much as $1,000 in the months to come. I put a 100% commitment behind
An unexpected stress caught me quite by surprose when, in my sixth month
of pregnancy I began feeling irritable towards nursing my toddler. My
nipples were becoming increasingly sensitive and I finally - though reluctantly
- made the choice to stop nursing Jasmine who was then almost three, until
after her brother's birth. Some mothers breeze all the way through their
pregnancies with no nipple discomfort while others, like myself, develop
intolerant levels of nipple sensitivity and prefer taking temporary weaning
measures rather than nursing a resentment toward their offspring.
You can count on people - peers and professionals alike - telling you it's
harmful to be nursing while pregnant, that your older child is taking away
valuable nutrients from both you and your growing fetus. Just tell them it's
your legitimate excuse for eating as much as you want! After all, an
uptake in nutritional output justifies increased nutritional input. In other
words, it all balances out.
Speaking of eating as much as you want... make sure those food choices
are serving your highest nutritional needs as well as the developing needs
of your womb-baby. When I am pregnant I feel naturally inclined to
increase the nuts, seeds, avocados, and leafy greens in my fruitarian diet.
Choices other than delectable fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds have the
propensity to create unwanted weight. How many times have you heard an
overweight woman admit she never lost those pounds after her first baby
was born? I hear it all the time, and it's a misery that can be avoided. In
my Cozy Cradle baby sling business where I determine what size sling is
needed according to the body size of the mother, I listen to women express
their frustration at having gained too much weight during their pregnancy.
They also convey a sense of futility for having never been able to take the
weight off in pregnancies prior.
I'll save discussions on natural nutrition for a later chapter because what I'm
mostly concerned with here is the self-esteem that suffers as a result of
unnecessary weight-gain during pregnancy. When that baby finally slithers
blissfully from your beautiful body, nothing is more satisfying than being
excited at the prompt return of your pre-pregnant state. It's like lending
something special to a close friend; it's a pleasure to have it returned to
you in as good or better condition than when you first handed it over.
Having babies doesn't have to ruin our body. Creating another human
being requires about twenty pounds to accommodate baby, placenta,
amniotic fluid, and breast enlargement. Do yourself a favor. Include high
self-esteem with your pregnancy and birthing plans. When you gently
release your precious child somewhere between hanging laundry and
preparing dinner, be able to soon thereafter reach into your closet and take
out that favorite outfit you've had on hold since you were about five months
pregnant. Practice the dietary principles necessary to feel great about
yourself after the birth, when your newborn is nursing peacefully at your
breast while you enjoy meals without feeling frustrated, defeated, or obese.
There are so many delightful fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds that don't
add unnecessary weight. Though I sometimes succumbed to cooked-food
cravings during my pregnancies, I basically focused on eating what my body
needed most - fresh, raw, natural, unadulterated foods. I remember how
happy I felt just ten hours after giving birth, walking my three children up to
the health food store and feeling slim and trim in a silky skirt that had been
patiently awaiting my pre-pregnant state. I rewarded myself with the
purchase of several fresh organic figs that, at $8.00 per pound, proved to
also be a reward for having reached my financial goal of $1,000 before the
birth of Matthew!
Feeling pretty is important. Pregnancy leads us through constant physical
expansion and, in a society where flat stomachs are worshipped the
pregnant woman needs to generate her own sense of beauty. Most
maternity clothes are designed to cover up our big-ness. In pregnancy, I
choose to counteract this closet mentality by gently wrapping my blossoming
womanhood with beautiful pareos...a Polynesian skirt/dress that ties at the
waist or around the neck. From conception to birth and beyond, my loyal
pareo meets my wardrobe needs. Skirts, such as a pareo, are especially
comfortable because I don't experience the confinement that accompanies
maternity pants. And, in those last months of pregnancy when I spend so
much time going to the bathroom to relieve my cramped bladder, it's much
easier to lift a loose skirt than to peel slacks over my huge baby-belly.
It's so much fun to buy baby clothes and get ready for our blossoming
bundle of joy. My infant clothing package includes several flannel receiving
blankets, three to four dozen cloth diapers, plenty of diaper covers and
diaper pins, two or more Cozy Cradle baby slings, and several nightgowns
that snap all the way down. I absolutely hate trying to dress a newborn in
anything that has to go over their head. I figure they already paid their
dues by pressing through such a narrow channel between the womb and
the world. The least I can do is make dressing-time more comfortable.
For the most part, my newborns enjoy the freedom of nudity. Occasional
cool weather and the pleasure of dry bedding at night are my motivators for
having the right infant wardrobe on hand.
For those who choose to use diapers, cloth is best for a variety of reasons,
the first being that cotton feels better against the skin than plastic. What
would you think about trading in your designer cotton-wear and spending the
next two years of your life encased in bulky plastic panties?
The next reason has to do with health. Babies who wear disposable plastic
diapers are notorious for experiencing diaper rash, and few things are more
painful for a baby than a sore and stinging bottom. There are many
chemicals in plastic diapers that, when combined with the acidity of our
baby's urine create a fertile environment for bacteria. The next reason has
to do with finances. When you buy three dozen cloth diapers and some
diaper covers your initial financial outlay becomes the end of consumerism
on this subject.
For their entire infancy and beyond, your baby's diapering needs are met;
as will be the needs of their potential younger sibling who has yet to be
conceived or considered. On the contrary, with disposable plastic diapers
you are making regular trips to the store, laying down money that could be
better spent on anything but some product that is compromising in comfort,
unhealthy to our babies, and a menace to the planet.
And then there's the more primal approach that, for the most part,
eliminates the need for diapers. It's called elimination timing. Have you
ever wondered how women throughout the ages dealt with motherhood
minus diapers? Mothers can actually learn to respond to the cues of their
young. Babies produce a little sound and/or body signal right before they
eliminate. By holding our infants over a receptacle, they can actually
develop an understanding of communicating their elimination needs to us.
We simply hold our babies, resting their head against our chest and their
back against our stomach while holding their little legs under their thighs to
make a squat posture. Also, by using a sound like "psss" or "sshh" when
we hold our babies out, an effective pattern of communication gets
established. At night, rather than putting diapers on our babies, we can
have a plastic pad covered with thick cotton underneath them in the event
we don't wake up to
hear their subtle evening cues. Otherwise, we can keep a receptacle by
the bed and simply place them in the squat position, then return to a warm
and dry embrace in the family bed.
Most mothers feel perplexed about building a baby's wardrobe prior to birth
because they don't know whether their baby is a girl or a boy. Baby girls
are given the joy of a rainbow while boys are relegated to blue. Pretty
dresses bypass the infant male experience altogether. This is just another
example of how women allow society to dictate their decisions without even
questioning. Homophobia is often at the root of this infant clothing paranoia,
yet the fearing public doesn't take into consideration the fact that our male
homosexual population was once a generation of baby boys who were
assigned blue, and denied the pleasures of prettiness. A primal mother
doesn't make her decisions based on the fear-based opinions of society.
My three-year-old son Matthew has a wardrobe that consists of shorts,
shirts, skirts, and dresses. ..loose-fitting soft cotton and flannel dresses. He
loves spinning around and feeling the fabric sway against his legs. Just the
other day a man originally from the Orient asked me why I let my son wear
dresses. I explained to him that I don't believe in sex discrimination of any
sort, including the choice of clothing, and further reminded him that most
cultures, even America right up to the time of the founding fathers, have
readily accepted the idea of men in clothing that is free about the legs. He
quickly admitted to me that, had his mother let him wear dresses and skirts
when he was a little boy he, too, would be wearing one right now. His
testimony was accompanied by a certain sadness and sense of loss. Little
boys who are denied personal expression, whether it's about clothes in
general or colors in particular, are missing out on the joys of a
versatile wardrobe and a wide range of emotional feelings.
Since our feet are servant to both traveler and passenger, they deserve the
best we can offer them during this journey known as pregnancy. I've
always adhered to the barefoot approach to motherhood, but for those who
prefer a bit of distance between the soles of their feet and the soil of the
earth, I highly recommend shoes that cater to the natural form of your foot.
Obviously raised heels don't fit into the scheme of natural footwear.
Through all three of my pregnancies, I have not developed stretch marks
which I believe is due to the fact that I rubbed my belly, thighs, and bottom
with olive oil each day. This daily discipline felt wonderful as I took time
out to nurture myself and massage my in-resident child.
Common sense suggests that man-made drugs have no place in pregnancy.
However, if we are actively involved in the overconsumption of nicotine or
other man-made drugs, the insidious nature of drug dependency can blur our
decision-making. Thus, it is helpful to participate in a support group for the
sake of abstaining from that which will harm both ourselves and our babies.
I have always relied on twelve-step programs like Alcoholics Anonymous to
master any particular habit that doesn't belong in my life in general and my
pregnancy in particular.
During a rebirthing session (a technique developed by Leonard Orr whereby
you lie down, breathe in deeply and rapidly for an hour or longer to release
stress and trauma held in the tissues of the body), I recalled/relived my
feelings about life inside my mother's womb. My memories were primarily
centered around the anxiety I felt as a result of the constant flood of
nicotine and caffeine that was coming through my mother's body. Just keep
in mind, we share virtually everything with our baby; our food, our
cigarettes, our coffee, even our emotions.
Speaking of emotions, given the fact it takes two to tango, pregnancy
inevitably brings with it the need to deal with, heal from, let go of, or
further commit to a relationship with our unborn baby's father. If you are in
a healthy relationship and both of you look forward to the shared
commitment of parenting, that's great. Keep doing what works, and keep
enjoying the fruits of your efforts. But not all of us experience
companionship after conception. People break up. Abandonment by a
partner upon learning of a pregnancy is common, and men abusing women
during pregnancy is devastatingly real.
My partner at the time of Sarah Lee's conception was a practicing alcoholic
who was both verbally and physically abusive. My mothering instincts
quickly taught me that pregnancy is a time of not putting up with any shit!
By my sixth month of pregnancy, the she-bear within had grown to the point
that I counter-attacl<ed his abuse with a blow so substantial he never once
laid a hand on me again. Though the physical violence had stopped, the
alcoholic thinking and verbal digs continued to the point that I gained
enough self-esteem to demand a better world for myself and my child.
No matter how you slice it, the bottom line is that WE are the ones who
are pregnant. WE are ultimately responsible for the act of baby-building,
and WE are fast approaching the all-consuming role of mother. Pregnancy
is a one-woman show, often-times accompanied by caring partners, but just
as often staged without a crew. Nature has designed us to be autonomous
in matters concerning pregnancy, birth, and raising humanity. We have what
it takes to satisfy the requirements of raising our young, with or without a
Those seemingly unplanned pregnancies can be the toughest, when we
subconsciously rely on this turn of events to overcome any problems existing
inside an intimate relationship. I call this "romancing the zygote." Under
these circumstances we need to really face ourselves and be sure the
continuation of our pregnancy is not fueled chiefly by the assumption that
"he'll change his mind and want to marry me" or "he'll quit drinking and
become a responsible father," or whatever it is that we wish would change
as a result of having "his" baby. The fate of my last pregnancy was a
hard one to decide upon because my relationship had sadly ended a month
before I knew I was pregnant. I was scared at the prospect of being a
mother to three children, yet at the same time I serenely accepted the
challenge that lay before me until the day I learned Matthew's father and
his extended family wanted nothing to do with this coming child. My
emotional entanglement with
Matthew's father left me torn between continuing with the pregnancy and
having the abortion I assumed would please this man. It took a great deal
of soul-searching to break free from this codependency, to decide for myself
what was to be.
This dilemma goes both ways. If we need to postpone the call of
motherhood and the father disagrees, so be it. Nothing is more important
to our mental health than to be honest with ourselves and take action
necessary to nurture that honesty. The argument is not about being pro-life
or pro-choice; it's about being pro-woman that she may have control over
her life. I've been on both sides of this fence, and each time I needed to
muster up the self-love necessary to make such a heartfelt decision.
Believe me, if men became pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.
For the sake of your own serenity, your child's self-esteem, and the birth
experience itself, I encourage you to work through any resentments and
expectations you may have regarding your relationship to the biological
father of your child. Codependency recovery is a valuable tool for dealing
with this issue. It's also very important to look at inner-child healing as an
avenue for working through relationship issues, since our intimate
relationships tend to mirror the core relationships we had while growing up.
It's all inter-related. I have come to recognize the correlation between my
attraction to emotionally unavailable men and having been raised by a father
who simply could not express any emotion except rage. Thus, my
adulthood has been plagued by relationships wherein I feel unloved and
afraid. It is for this very reason that my chidlren are from three different
fathers. It took years of self-discovery work to find the core of my
attractions so I could finally change my life-script. Motherhood called long
before my ability to manifest and maintain a healthy intimate relationship to
a sexual mate. Today, I enjoy the nurturing qualities of healthy male
friendships, because I dove deep to find the roots of my fatal attractions,
then nurtured my way home to being treated with respect.
Society treats pregnancy as a disease while accepting the status quo of
unsatisfactory relationships. What if, instead of going to doctors to treat our
pregnancies, we went to support groups and therapists specializing in
women's issues to treat our feelings and heal our relationships during the
course of a perfectly primal, self-governing, truly pleasant pregnancy?
Another homework assignment designed to be completed in the course of
our pregnancies is addressing the subject of birth itself. Society has molded
a belief system about birth to be one of fear, pain, complications, and
necessary medical direction. So many women are told their baby is too big,
their pelvic region is too small, or any other number of diagnoses that lead
medical experts to automatically and authoritatively plug into "barbaric"
birthing practices. Let us not forget obstetrics is the second highest paid
profession, just behind surgeons, which could explain why obstetricians are
steadily increasing their practice of performing c-sections.
Let us also not forget the miraculous wonders of a naturally expanding
pelvis during birth, when we are relaxed and in harmony with our body and
our baby, when the physical environment and people therein are comforting
rather than condescending. Since the reality of our birth experience is
merely a reflection of earlier actions (or inactions) taken, we need to delve
deep so as to create the birth of our desires.
Emotional clearing during these months of blossoming motherhood takes us
on a myriad of disclosures, as we call a spade a spade and awaken to our
sovereignty. It's a time when we need to look within for our answers and
overcome the urge to hand our power over to others. I went so far as to
have my telephone service disconnected in my last pregnancy because well-
meaning friends were aghast at my self-governing approach to pregnancy
and birth, and my confidence was wavering in light of this barrage of
disapproval. Too many times I had reached out through "Ma Bell" for my
answers instead of getting quiet enough to hear my intuition speak, soft and
true. I pitted my sovereignty against social chatter and developed the
courage to argue for my convictions.
In many ways, pregnancy was a lonely time. I ached for the circle of
loving support that humanity once knew. I longed for the sisterhood of
women who in times past were deeply rooted in their power, for the
brotherhood who expressed awe and respect for the natural abilities of their
sisters. I humbly accepted the reality that my Purpose in this life was to
carry the message of primal mothering. It was my task, sometimes a lonely
journey often accompanied by persecution, to reconnect women to their
Primal Power and to restore humanity to that loving support. Somehow,
knowing the magnitude of my mission, the lonesome feelings slipped away
to be replaced by awesome gratitude. Like Jonathan Livingston Seagull who
flew away beyond the far cliffs of social consciousness, my sadness was
not so much about solitude as it was that others refused to recognize the
joyful healing found in primal mothering. And anyway, I wasn't really alone;
I had the sacred
company of my womb-baby.
I learned to speak to my baby. Prenatal psychology being the latest
breakthrough in the field of human development, I was enjoying regular and
consistent communication with my unborn as proof of what resarch now
suggests. Before going to sleep at night, I talked to my babies. I asked
questions about their in-utero needs; was I eating sufficiently for their
optimum growth? What did they prefer in the way of my exercise program?
What were their hopes and fears about the upcoming birth? I also shared
with them all my fears and joys, expectations, and such. I often awoke in
the morning to their messages sweetly implanted on my psyche. I relied on
this avenue of communications for questions as important as whether they
were in a good position to be born and what position I should assume at
the exact time of birth. In one dream, in-utero Matthew showed me he
would be turning head-down during labor, so for me not to worry about
whether his head was
engaged prior to that, and in anotlier dream I was on all fours in my living
room at the time of his birth, with little Sarah Lee supporting his head as
he descended from my body.
By the way, just because "head-down" is the most popular position at the
time of birth does not mean any variations from this theme are wrong. The
birthing knowledge contained between a woman and her child is sufficient to
bring about the end result.
I think the most burning question in my mind with each of my pregnancies
was, what position will I end up giving birth in? I wanted to be phsycially
fit for all possible options. Gardening proved to be an excellent all-around
preparation for birth. The squatting position was especially helpful for
opening my pelvic region. I watch little children as they naturally assume
the primal position of squatting, and find my intuition reminding me of the
fact that squatting during childbirth is the most natural and common position
for primal mothers.
With all this preparation work - clearing the past and planning for the future
- living in the present can seem to elude us. That's where practices like
meditation and yoga come into play. It's also a good idea to bathe
ourselves in spiritually nourishing literature and tapes that keep us aware of
our moment-by-moment world. One book that has really helped me is The
Precious Present, by Spencer Johnson. It's a beautifully simple story that
takes less than an hour to read. I made a point of reading it every day of
Preparation for birth begins with conception because there is so much we
need to unlearn. Unlike what we have been taught, birth is not just about
proper breathing techniques or when to push. In fact, as you will learn in
the next chapter, we needn't "breathe" correctly nor "push" our babies out.
We do, however, need to know ourselves well enough to allow our instincts
the opportunity to orchestrate birth as it is intended by Nature.
Every woman deserves the sense of accomplishment derived from shedding
authority and embracing her own sovereignty. By withdrawing our energies
from the medical establishment and building a strong foundation in Self, we
in effect become students of our higher knowing and surrender to the Truth
If the upcoming birth experience is not our first, then we can look at our
previous birth(s) and awaken to the dynamics that were involved. What
didn't we like? What appeared to go wrong? Where did we go against
our intuition? What could we have done differently?
Rewrite those births to reflect the way we really wanted them to go. Then
create affirmations to support that vision and tape them up everywhere!
Make book-marks depicting their messages. Some of my birth affirmations
I enjoy a sense of grace during birth
I show absolutely no signs of fear or concern
My only responsibility is to control my mind; my body will birth my baby
safely and efficiently
Just courage and patience are required to send my baby merrily into my
I see birth as a personal challenge, and I am confident I am up to the task
I give birth in safety and solitude
As long as I am alone and able to yield to the sexual joy of the birthing, I
am able to experience wonderful orgasmic feelings and no pain at all
I believe my baby's birth will come quickly, quietly, and easily
I keep my legs, arms, face and pelvic floor completely relaxed
I believe steadfastly in what I see in the hours of vision and clear sky
BIRTH. ..Blissful Beginnings
"Like their animal sisters, women will someday
deliver their own babies peacefully and painlessly
at home. Women will understand that birth is only
dangerous and painful for those who believe it is."
Laura Kaplan Shanley, Unassisted Childbirth
With my first pregnancy, I was told my idea of a homebirth was both
insidious and illegal, thus I dutifully registered with the prenatal clinic at the
local hospital. Nobody mentioned the fact that hospital births have six times
the mortality rate of home births.
Despite my obedience to this illegality rumor that I had no right to take my
pregnancy and my child's birth into my own hands, a part of me clung
tenaciously to the idea of birthing alone. Though I was exposed to the
medical establishment on a regular basis, like a deviant school-girl I had
every intention of playing hooky on the eve of my daughter's birth.
In my last month of pregnancy I dreamed I would go into labor while
dancing at the University pow wow, that my baby would be born into my
arms with no intervention from anyone. I'll always remember my mounting
excitement as the date of that pow wow drew near. As I headed out the
door, putting the finishing touches on my dancing outfit, I packed a diaper
bag for the first time in my life and felt like Cinderella of Motherhood.
I entered the large, crowded auditorium just in time to catch the first
drumming of the night. I quickly pulled my dancing shawl across my
shoulders and headed happily to the dance floor. Just as I began my first
turn, fringe from my shawl beginning its awesome flight, two hands gripped
my arms and corresponding faces (my then-husband and a close friend)
shamed me for such selfishness, insisting I was crazy to be so physically
active late in my pregnancy.
Being stopped from participating in the unfolding of my dream was not
nearly as shocking as the obedience I observed in me. Like a reprimanded
child, I sat down and cried. Minutes later, a swelling sensation brought all
my attention to the daughter within, and I realized labor had indeed begun.
By this time I had given over all of my power and heard myself mumbling
to someone that I was having contractions. The next thing I knew, we
were walking three miles in the snow, heading to the hospital where, upon
arrival, my labor fizzled out and I was sent home. That night I lay crying
in bed, holding my aching heart instead of my precious baby.
A week later I awoke at midnight to the sensation of warm water running
between my legs. I calmly mentioned the wet bedding to my then-husband,
and he frantically went running for the campus police. There I was, sitting
in the back-seat of a police car that was heading to the last place I wanted
Upon arrival at the much dreaded hospital site, I was coldly ordered into a
wheelchair and taken up to the labor room. There, the nurses busted my
water bag the rest of the way, probing around, then told me I was two
centimeters and that it would be a wliile.
I got dressed and sought out the solitude I so desperately needed. For the
next seven hours, while my then-husband slept on the waiting room couch, I
stayed to myself - walking through the quiet three-story building, finding
refuge in the emergency staircases, squatting deeply with each contraction
and talking joyously to my womb-daughter the entire time.
At 7:00/am, I heard my name over the hospital intercom system, ordering
me back to the labor room. Against my intuition I headed back to what
became the epitome of my gullibility, as I proceeded to condone the intial
command of intervention that led to a host of complications, resulting in a c-
Upon hearing my name over the intercom my first instinct had been to
quietly exit the nearest door and walk home in the winter's chill where I
could birth my baby in the privacy of my cozy travel-home. After all, no
one would ever guess this pregnant and laboring woman was treking three
miles in the snow to enjoy primal birthing in simple surroundings.
But I did not heed my inner call and I have a c-section scar to prove it.
I'm not the only one wearing this badge of dis-courage, verification of a
botched birth. This form of medical intrusion (the end result of all
interventions prior) leads the way as the single most common major surgery
in the United States. Between physicians and the pharmaceutical industry,
childbirth is a fifteen billion dollar annual pelvic gold-mine.
Joseph Chilton Pearce, through his writings, has shown that at the first sign
of an interference or intervention of something that's liable to threaten a
birthing mother, the mammalian limbic structrues of the brain function to stop
the birth process. The mother waits until the coast is clear or moves to
another place to give birth where it is safer. That's our mammalian
genetically-encoded heritage. When we succumb to hospital surroundings
and the medical mentality we literally position ourselves to shut down
progressive labor, whichputs medical personnel on the aggressive and our
true needs, as well as the needs of our unborn child, in jeopardy. I ws
experiencing regular and consistent contractions during my three-mike trek to
the hospital the night of the pow wow, but the moment I walked through the
metal doors of the emergency room my brain applied the brakes to the
hormonal activity of my womb. And then, a week later, I experienced the
intelligent intervention by my brain when I was called back to the labor
room after having spent seven glorious hours by myself. In both instances,
I was, as Joseph Chilton Pearce describes, efforting to move to another
place to give birth where it felt safer. Despite all my efforts, I was still in
the psychic clutches of the medical mentality. Since hospital personnel are
not trained to stay out of the way of Nature's plan, my desired birth - as
well as the birthright of my daughter - was snatched away.
My long-yearned-for sovereign birth was wiped out in the flash of a
surgeon's l<nife, preceded by the intruding foreplay of monitors, IV'S, pitocin,
and the paranoid hands of total strangers. Right up until the final hour,
when I was informed a c-section was the next step in this medical
nightmare, I managed to maintain conscious contact with my daughter
through each contraction.
I found labor itself to be a delightful challenge, despite the inhospitable
environment of white-coated robots and the crass smell of sterility. Months
prior, I had dreamed that a female deer would encourage me throughout the
birth experience. Sure enough, with the first signs of labor came the vision
of a beautiful doe standing in a snow-covered meadow. Her eyes were
liquid pools of brown warmth and tranquility as she invited me to seek
comfort with each contraction by looking deeply into the windows of her
soul. At one point during my labor, when a nurse decided to speed up the
pitocin drip that caused my contractions to come nearly one atop the other -
mal<ing it difficult to maintain my mental composure - the powerful doe
reminded me to stay connected by gazing even more deeply into her eyes.
When, due to the physical discomfort of medically-forced contractions I
moved farther away from my center, this spotted doe mentor emphatically
look down at her feet. I did. And to my complete amazement, out from
the snow-laden soil shot a breathtaking purple flower! I was so shocked by
its sudden presence amidst the vision of winter I actually transcended the
physical pain caused by medical technology.
Nonetheless, all of my mental work could not overturn the ugly
consequences of medical intervention. I was in their clutches and my
gullibility had placed me there, along with the codependent behavior of
acquiescing to an unsupportive spouse whose fear-based mentality kept him
from understanding my deep desire for a home birth. If only I had
managed to defy his fears. If only I had educated myself about the
procedural interventions practiced by hospital staff. My gullibility had led to
giving my power away. I had "trusted" that the consciousness of the
medical team was on my side and sensitive to my primal mothering needs.
Instead, I learned the hard way that medical mentality and hospital
procedures do not reflect the true needs of a birth in process. By allowing
my then-husband to lead the way, and then stepping foot in that hospital, I
assumed the patient/victim role, thereby sharing in the drama of a
compromising birth where a total stranger
in a white mask announced to me I had a baby girl, the same baby girl
whose entrance into this world was both emotionally and physically painful,
with an excruciatingly long seven-hour wait before being united with her
Why is it assumed that babies don't feel pain? The bright lights of a
delivery room; total strangers grasping, pulling, scrubbing, probing, cutting.
stabbing; unfamiliar voices devoid of emotion. As one psychologist reveals,
"Pain makes a deep impression; babies are probably more impressionable
than older children and adults. Protecting them from the impact of pain
would prevent personal suffering at the beginning of life and the need for
psychotherapeutic repairs later."
Part of the reason why I didn't have coverage on the birthing front of this
battle to reveal my primal motherhood self was that all of my positive
thinking and visualization efforts during pregnancy were geared toward
manifesting a successful breastfeeding experience upon the birth of my
daughter. Both my adolescent and adult life had been riddled with shame
over the smallness of my chest, a message that carried with it a feeling of
inevitable inadequacy regarding my mammalian self. This fear of malfunction
due to size was exacerbated by the many horror stories from other mothers
about failed nursing attempts, cracked and bleeding nipples, and other
unimaginable experiences in breastfeeding.
In an effort to protect myself from the flames of futility, I joined La Leche
League, an international organization with groups all over the world designed
to support breastfeeding women. I performed daily visualizations. And I
taped a beautiful picture of a mother nursing her baby onto my mirror where
I glanced at it frequently each and every day. I was diligent and militant
about coming to believe in my ability to nurse.
In retrospect, I can see I completely avoided educating myself about or
mentally preparing myself for the dynamics of birth. At the time I did not
comprehend the fact that one cannot serve two masters. Though my faith-
filled heart was in favor of a self-governing pregnancy and sovereign birth,
my fearful head led me in a different direction. I went to my prenatal
appointments punctually and had even once inquired about the birthing chair
at the hospital. I skipped the labor room/delivery room tour as my way to
prove earnestness to plans of birthing at home but still, the majority of my
actions were voting against my heart's desire. Along the lines of Albert
Einstein's advice that we cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war,
I could not simultaneously prevent and prepare for a hospital birth.
For the record, all my positive thinking and accompanying mental work for a
successful breastfeeding experience brought to fruition my desired result. To
this day, more than twelve years later, I am still watching my children grow
from the milk my "small" breasts produce. Then again, I practiced no
compromising behavior on this particular subject of primal mothering. I went
to my La Leche League breastfeeding support meetings faithfully and made
friends with breastfeeding women. I never once succumbed to the advice of
many who recommended I should have baby bottles and formula on hand,
just in case my milk was nonexistent or insuffienct. I burned all bridges
and determined I would nurse my baby once she was born. Unfortunately,
I had not pulled out all the stoppers for having her precious birth be as
primal as her first feeding experience.
Like any recipe, it tal<es the inclusion and harmony of all ingredients to
enact the finished product. My failed attempt at a primal birth was a
perfect example of overlooking some of the necessary ingredients. Still, my
first pregnancy did introduce me to the art of values clarification, putting first
things first, and developing the daily discipline necessary to stay focused on
important goals. These new virtues were carried into my second pregnancy
where I learned more, and got better results.
I had never even heard of c-sections prior to the birth of my first child.
Funny how I could have ignored what is a growing epidemic in today's
society. I must have really been in denial on the subject of birth. Why did
I unconsciously need to eliminate birth education from my pregnancy
experience? This question stuck to me like glue. Six years later, when I
learned I was pregnant again, the answer became crystal clear. My
subconscious definition of birth was: big-time pain. I was afraid I had not
the ability to endure the physical horror of a vaginal birth.
For six years I had worn the cloak of victim regarding my c-section, and
the belief that the hospital staff simply did what needed to be done; it was
inevitable; after all, I was inadequate in the way of birthing. I had bought
the story-line that I as incapable of natural childbirth. But underneath this
rationalization lived the forlorn female whose desire and need for a primal,
sovereign birth still clung hopefully to her soul. Somewhere deep inside me
I knew my hospital experience did not reflect my true abilities.
The moment I learned of this second pregnancy my heart immediately won
over my head. I resolved to reach deep within and go to any lengths to
create the birth I so desperately needed and wanted. I was hungry for the
totality of my womanhood, and this time I would do my homework.
The first thing I did was contact an organization that supports women who
are determined to experience a vaginal birth after a c-section (VBAC). In
part because so many wanna-be surgeons (otherwise known as
obstetricians) deem it only "natural" for c-section patients to experience more
of the same, it is normal and prevalent for recipients of birth-surgery to
experience the same in births to follow. I refused to pad the statistics.
My hospital experience had left such a sour taste in my mouth that I swung
clear from seeking any medical assistance to securing a deep sense of
sovereignty from start to finish.
The idea of a midwife didn't even register as a logical next step once I
exorcised medical intervention from my psyche. I had seen how women
gave themselves over to controlling midwives just as easily and obediently
as when I had given my power away to hospital staff.
It was clear to me that my first major step toward a successful sovereign
birth was to take responsibility for what had happened during the birth of
little Sarah Lee. A victim mentality was not going to reap the rewards I
desired. I had to disprove the notion that my c-section was necessary, and
then ask myself why I gave my power away in the first place.
I remember the day my hospital chart came in the mail. A nurse-friend of
mine interpreted the medical jargon for me and quickly analyzed that my c-
section had been typical of those she sadly observed day in and day out
on her job. Impatient medical staff trying to speed up the process of labor,
creating compounding complications with each intervention which leads to
further interventions resulting in major surgery. In other words, I had been
At hearing the truth of my medical experience, my first reaction was not one
of relief as I thought it would be. Instead, I cried deeply. The emotional
pain was overwhelming. Somehow it had been easier, more comfortable, to
believe I had succumbed to the inevitable and oh, what a good thing
because the nice doctor had saved my baby! Now I was left with the raw
realization that my much-desired primal birth, the prized treasure of my
womanhood, had been at my fingertips and I let it slip away.
Why did I let it slip away? What beliefs had I clung to so tenaciously and
unconsciously that their grip undermined the intensity of my desires? What
fears about birth had I managed to sweep under the carpet? I certainly
had my work cut out for me.
I began by taking full responsibility for my pregnancy; no prenatal exams, no
back-up plans, no midwife contacts. I read books and articles written by
women who experienced vaginal births after c-sections. I changed my
reality around enough to be in alignment with my goal. Having learned the
lesson that one cannot serve two masters, I put all my eggs in one basket
and developed the courage necessary to envision this c-section-scarred body
of mine bringing forth a healtlny baby with no complications and no
I familiarized myself with the anatomy of birth and became increasingly
interested in water birthing because, according to the testimonies I had read,
pain in childbirth is decreased when laboring in water. Upon reading the
book Ocean Birth, I chose this pregnancy as my motivation for getting to
I was finding out all about the responsibility that accompanies commitment
and, as the time drew nearer, more obstacles seemed to cross my path
helping me to release any hidden fears and other mental land-mines which
needed unearthing before my due date. My biggest fear, probably the
leading culprit that sent me reeling into denial with my first pregnancy, was
my fear of pain. Just the idea of a baby passing through my cervix and
beyond was enough to make me shudder. However, after reading Painless
Childbirth by Fernand Lamaze and checl<ing in more closely with my intuitive
wisdom, I came to the joyous conclusion that pain was not a necessary
component of childbirth.
I read everything I could get my hands on about pain; why it happens, how
it happens, how to avoid it. I learned the importance of mind over matter.
I knew from personal experience that pain could be eliminated simply by
changing my mental focus, so I started a daily regime of birth visualizations
where pain was non-existent. I also practiced some re-birthing techniques
that got me in touch with the fact that my own mother had experienced
excruciating pain during my forceps delivery. Her screams had become my
reality about what to expect in childbirth.
With only two weeks to go in my pregnancy I was beginning to fret about
the position of my daughter, as everyone was asking me the same
question. .."How do you know if your baby is in the right position to be
born?" I began to have fear and called a midwife for the specific purpose
of determining Jasmine's position. Instead of simply saying "Yes, she's
head down," I endured a session of reprimand for having neglected to
receive prenatal care, was told I was considered high risk because I had a
previous c-section, I was nearly forty years old, and I was a red-head. She
concluded her lecture with an offer to give me a discount by charging only
one thousand dollars for the delivery service that she insisted I need.
As coincidence would have it, just as I was falling into the abyss of figuring
how to come up with money to pay someone who had convinced me of my
irresponsibility to birth alone, a very close friend happened to be driving by.
He saw my car, slowed up, saw my face drained of its usual glow, and
asked what was wrong. When I told him what was going on he replied,
"So, you're going to bet one thousand dollars that your dream birth is not
possible?" That gentle slap of reality spun my fully blossomed belly away
from the midwife and toward the car that took me back to my special spot
on the beach where a very special sovereign birth awaited.
A few nights later, an even stranger coincidence took place. While visiting
with the same friend who had helped me flee from the fear-based clutches
of that pushy midwife just days prior I had a dream in which Jasmine told
me she preferred to be born up on the mountain of Kokee - which is where
I happened to be at the time of this dream. She made it clear that
negative consequences would surely result if I gave birth at the beach;
strangers would interfere, and a whole new birthing nightmare would take
The next morning, while trying to digest this nocturnal demand from my
womb-baby, the friend whose cabin I was visiting awoke to tell me Jasmine
had come to him in a dream, showing her umbilical cord was adequate in
length and when her head came out the first thing she would do is smile at
him. She showed the birth taking place in a small cottage on the mountain
A few hours later I called a friend of mine in Oklahoma who, upon hearing
my voice, immediately began telling me about this dream she had the night
before... you guessed it. Jasmine was proudly telling her she was to be
born in a cabin on a mountain in Hawaii.
Needless to say, I was in a state of confusion as I headed into the final
days before labor began. With this new information I broke camp, left the
beautiful sandy beach and guided my little family up the long and winding
climb to Kokee Mountain. Three nights later I went into labor at my friend's
cabin. I awoke to the feel of breaking waters, then quietly slipped from the
bed and made myself comfortable in the kitchen. Wrapped in a green
chenille bathrobe, I put on my earphones and began dancing while looking
out a most magnificent moon.
Things were fine until my friend wol<e up. When I disconnected from the
dancing and told of my present laboring condition, fears of what I
considered "inevitable pain to follow" began to surface and I worried about
the fact that the ocean was beyond reach and my friend did not have a
bath tub. Because I had not completely abandoned my idea of a waterbirth
- because I still clung desperately to my fear of pain and used the
waterbirth concept as insurance against it - my friend drove us to a
neighboring cottage where awaited a deep bear-claw bath tub for my
laboring and birthing needs.
Once settling into this new environment, I put my tape player and earphones
to work again and disconnected from all that was going on around me.
Contractions were five minutes apart as I resumed my birthing dance - a
most beautiful sensual snake-like movement that I had been enjoying
throughout my pregnancy. The physical environment of this neighbor
woman's home was cozy, with a fire in the fireplace, candles and such, the
smell of herb teas brewing... but something was wrong. There was an
undercurrent of tension I intuitively felt was affecting the process of my
labor. I felt like I was on stage as a flurry of activity surrounded me,
people I didn't know coming and going, the telephone ringing, the television
blaring, even a man attempting to get my attention in an effort to strike up
a deal to buy my car! Next thing I knew, my contractions were weaker
and farther apart.
Finally the neighbor woman suggested something must be wrong since so
many hours had passed with no apparent progress. In my vulnerable state
of mind that's all it took to start feeling my power slip away. Aside from
the external distractions, up to this point I was indeed creating the
experience I desired; no pain and lots of inner calm. In no time at all I
managed to turn my will over to believing someone else must know more
than I did.
This neighbor woman insisted my notion of a painless birth was unrealistic,
birth was designed to be painful and I must accept that fact. In her words,
'Giving birth is like shitting a watermelon." My fears were being fanned,
and it wasn't too many contractions later that I began experiencing pain for
the first time in over sixteen hours of joyous dancing and singing during
I lost control. I couldn't regain my center. I found myself relying on others
totally to keep me from falling into an abyss of physical horror. I had no
idea who I was, where I was, nothing. I was being told to push, but I
didn't believe in pushing. Out the window went my intuition, followed closely
by my convictions. I lost connection to my own script. It seemed I could
only do what I was told. I was in the midst of upholding the drama
expected by society's consciousness - the sweating at the brow, all eyes on
my perineum, coaching from the front and sidelines, hot packs between
contractions. I knew instinctively that pushing was making things worse, but
I had the bigger concern of being compliant amidst the coercion. The
positions I was being told to assume were equally unnatural to my primal
self. At one point I was accused of being stubborn about how things
should go and, anyway, why couldn't I lie on my back and give birth like
woman? Through all the submission on my part, I did manage to refuse to
In true form to things being "darkest" before the dawn, when I could endure
the situation no longer, my friend who had saved me from the midwife's
control just days prior took action. Up until this point he had been quietly
yet uncomfortably staying in the background. All of a sudden he got right
in my face and screamed above the chanting commands of his neighbor,
"Hygeia, this is YOUR birth! YOU wanted it! Now, YOU take it!" His
eyes burned conviction into mine and in the next moment I felt Jasmine
swoop past my cervix and in five involuntary pushes she peeked her head
of red hair out to smile at my friend - just as his dream had shown - then
slid into home-base, safe, and soundless.
Unfortunately all the tension, awkward positions and forced pushing left me
torn and tattered. Jasmine's exit through my vagina was my entrance to
excruciating pain. Heavy laden with hemorrhoids, and stinging with every
trip to the bathroom, the next few weeks were miserable. Yes, I had
accomplished my vaginal birth after a c-section, but I had not achieved my
ideal birth. Something was still missing.
With my first birth the uneasiness was vague because I claimed ignorance,
plus I had been medicated prior to the surgery. At that time I had not
educated myself about birth and I knew next to nothing about personal
empowerment. Now, with this second birth, I was faced with the glaring
facts: I had given away my power which resulted in a compromising birth
experience. I experienced pain that I THOUGHT I didn't believe in. I
pushed despite my intuition, and now it hurt to pee.
Once again, my ensuing reality was different from my original intent. There
was obviously more to learn. This feeling of shame and disappointment
clouded over me as I tried to pat myself on the back for a successful
VBAC and a medically unassisted birth away from hospital personnel.
Two years later the question still burned in my mind. Would things have
gone better if I had held onto my power? Could I have held onto my
power under that peer-pressure circumstance?
Did I have to rip? Did it have to hurt? Unbeknownst to me, a third child
was coming into my life and, as I watched the urine dipstick turn YES I
thought to myself, maybe the third time is the charm.
Now came the task of giving myself full credit for having a VBAC under my
belt rather than being the recipient of not one, but two c-section scars. I
no longer had to jump the hoop of believing in my ability to birth. I had
indeed experienced a medically unassisted vaginal homebirth. Though I had
lost control and known fear in the latter part of those twenty four hours of
labor I had also succeeded in bringing forth my child. I had been
courageous in the face of my fear.
After all, courage does not mean the elimination of fear. Courage means
acting in spite of the fact that we are afraid. Even though there were no
medications or monitors, no doctors or midwives, I still couldn't call my
birthing experience "natural" because I saw nothing natural in the pain I felt,
the pushing I performed, or the resulting physical assault on my perineum.
My truly sovereign and primal birth was yet to be had.
With the sad taste of postpartum disappointment fresh in my mind I combed
through every inch of that birth experience, resolving to overcome each
obstacle that before had stood in my way. As I began to take full
responsibility for all that had happened I was able to get a better view of
my unconscious fears.
A part of me was afraid to be responsible for the outcome. I wanted
somebody to blame, because deep down I believed I was incapable of a
pleasant birth. Up until this moment of reflection and review I had indeed
blamed outside circumstances for my compromising home birth. If only that
woman had not said it was supposed to hurt. If only she had not insisted
I push. If only there weren't so many people coming and going. From this
blaming viewpoint I had no leverage with which to change my
circumstances. But, when I considered the possibility I had unconsciously
created the situation in the first place, I was then empowered with the
option to change the nature of my personal reality.
Layer number one... I had no choice but to face my codependency issues. I
was taking care of others during labor when I was supposed to be focusing
on myself and my baby. During labor with my first pregnancy I had
actually called from the hospital bed phone between contractions to order
lunch for my husband who was sitting right there watching television! With
my second laboring experience I was concerned over the fact I was taking
up someone else's bed and causing inconvenience to others; a bed, by the
way, I never would have been sitting on had I not listened to the bed-
owner's motto that laboring women belonged there.
Like my grief over the unnecessary interventions with my first daughter's
birth, I now faced the truth that I had, once again, foisted my efforts to
have a sovereign and complication-free birth experience. I had rationalized I
could not have done it without those people at that mountain cottage. It
was just now occurring to me I may have needed them simply because
they were there. When we are alone in a given endeavor and there's
nobody to turn to, we are pressured to reach within for the strength and
stamina to carry us through. After all, that's why vision quests are a
solitary dance. Who is to say I would have failed in solitude?
Less than two years later, with a third child growing peacefully inside my
womb, this revelation from my second birth experience was accompanied by
a burst of self-confidence that put me on course for that 100% commitment
needed to finally know the primal birth defined by my heart and soul.
As coincidence would have it, the day I reached maximum throttle with this
non-negotiable level of commitment I received in the mail a newsletter that
supported unassisted homebirth. I immediately ordered the book Unassisted
Childbirth by Laura Kaplan Shanley that was highly recommended by the
editors of this particular newsletter.
Laura's book became my bible. I read it repeatedly, studied it, slept with it
under my pillow, and devoured every resource book suggested by the
author. This woman knew what I wanted! What I needed! Nobody up to
that point understood why I would want to give birth all by myself. Laura
Kaplan Shanley had enjoyed her first two births in the presence of her
partner, but realized that, for her, birth was a personal challenge she would
rather reach - like a vision quest - alone. Someone was speaking my
language. I finally felt safe inside myself because I was no longer alone.
Most of the medically unassisted homebirths I was reading about in other
books were stories where women endured intense levels and long hours of
pain, giving all credit for success to their partner, saying they couldn't have
done it without his support. Each testimony I read brought back to mind
that recent revelation. ..maybe I needed those people at that cottage simply
because they were there. I know I can change a flat tire with more
conviction and efficiency when there is not someone, especially a man,
nearby. No, I wanted to birth alone and, like Laura Kaplan Shanley learned
for herself, personal empowerment was the reward that awaited me.
I soon found out how few people agreed with or supported my birthing
intentions. IVIy friends took on the form of fear-based worry-warts and
neighbors shunned me for bringing such craziness upon the community. I
created a support team, a mastermind Group that consisted of Laura's
wisdom inside her bool<, the powerful speaker Les Brown inside his cassette
tape series Live Your Dreams!, and Susan Jeffers inside her book Feel the
Fear and Do It Anyway! Though I couldn't realistically invite my trusted
team over for tea on any given afternoon, the close psychic connection I
maintained with these empowered role models kept me going as I blasted
through all the obstacles necessary for creating a totally successful, totally
sovereign, totally primal birth.
In the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous it says, "We will not regret the
past nor wish to shut the door on it." Relating this wisdom to my situation,
I had to forgive myself and others for my previous birth experiences. I had
to heal from all the blame and any of the shame. I took responsiblity for
the fears and other beliefs that led me to making the decision that created
my experiences. I asked my dreams to show me how those births would
have gone if those fears didn't exist inside me. From this introspective
homework assignment came a sense of peace. The past was now a rich
treasure of self-understanding, no longer a slaughter-ground where my dream
was twice crucified.
I looked beyond the birth of Matthew to the beautiful bonding between
myself and my three precious children. I learned to be patient, embracing
the idea that patience was a creative waiting, trusting that in time what I
desired would come to pass.
Unearthing my hidden belief systems was not an overnight job. Gestation
was happening on all levels, not just in-utero. I had several dreams about
premature birth and I knew that these nocturnal premonitions were my cue
to accept patience as a nurturing and necessary virtue for the overall
success of my desired sovereign birth. My impatience was mostly tied into
my increasing intolerance of the chatter-box in my head telling me that I
would fail and all would suffer as a result. I wanted to get past the finish
line as soon as possible so I no longer had to live with the anxiety of
Then came the hoop with the most flames lapping within. All of this inner
work would be in vain were I not to activate the peristaltic motion of
emotional cleansing, flushed only by the act of forgiveness. I had to learn
that forgiving is a choice I make - a gift I give to somebody even if they
don't deserve it. I had to heal my heart from blame by forgiving myself, as
well as forgiving others who weren't to blame in the first place.
This was really hard for me. But I wanted this heartfelt birth no matter
what, and I had to pay the price. I had been blaming my ex-husband for
first whisking me off the dance floor and then again for flagging down the
cop who ran red lights to get me to a hospital where I endured a c-section.
And I had been blaming the take-charge woman whose cottage I borrowed
while giving birth to Jasmine. The cycle of blame had to stop some time.
And NOW was the time.
I had a vested interest in blame. It kept me free from self- responsibility.
In The Celestine Prophecy James Redfield writes, "Subtle and ever-present,
core beliefs are invisible determining factors in our lives. These thoughts
imperceptibly organize our internal field and determine our continuing reality."
Working with the twelve steps for personal empowerment originally created
by members of Alcoholics Anonymous, I recognized my seeming
powerlessness over the compulsion to blame. With pen in hand, I made a
list of all the people, places, and institutions I had blamed for my past birth
I set out to make the contacts necessary for my healing. It wasn't easy
nor was it impossible. I had a bigger YES burning inside. I felt so
empowered and light-hearted after making these amends, and was surprised
at the gravity of weight that had accompanied my previous grudges.
With diligence to weeding my mental garden throughout this third pregnancy,
the only fear that remained was a concern for environmental cleanliness at
the time of Matthew's birth. Each story of unassisted homebirth I had read
about included the component of sterile sheets, sterilized scissors, rubbing
alcohol, etc. Was this really necessary? My intuition whispered NO. Then
I thought about all the primal women on the planet who, on this very day,
were giving birth near rice paddies or wherever else their daily tasks took
them. I reflected on the mother cat who brings her litter into a world of old
clothes in a wicker basket, or the dreamy-eyed mare whose foal drops
gently to an un-sterile ground. I concluded my usual standard of domestic
cleanliness was sufficient.
For a couple of days I went in and out of labor. My contractions were
extremely pleasant and affirming to my heart. I was indeed heading in to
the luxury of my dream birth. As a way to increase my tolerance for
physical intensity - and to protect my perineum from tearing this time - I
massaged myself with olive oil and, via this gentle stimulation, enjoyed
several wonderful orgasms throughout the day.
After putting my girls to bed for the night, I poured a glass of organic grape
juice and curled up in my overstuffed rocker. Staring out at the magnificent
ocean view, I resumed perineal massage and reached orgasm with every
contraction. Nothing in my life had ever compared to this moment in time.
In my journal I wrote, "I'm massaging myself with olive oil and enjoying the
most expansive orgasms I have ever known. Sex has never compared to
the sensual pleasure I am experiencing right now. Each uterine hug is so
big and beautiful. I love watching my belly rise rhythmically and then relax.
Matthew's hugs from my womb are truly one on top of the other, with little
or no break between them. Damn, this feels good! I feel a sudden urge
to take a hot bath by candlelight. Be back soon."
Within moments of slipping into the soothing water I experienced two eye-
opening contractions that suggested I was much farther along than I
realized. A sudden urge to sit on the toilet was immediately followed by
the breaking of my waters.
I was confused. With my first two pregnancies my water initially broke, and
then was followed by twenty four hours of labor. Despite my intention to
enjoy a quick and easy birth this time around, I had still evidently hung
onto the belief I would labor for twenty four hours after my water broke, as
I had done two times prior. This did not feel like the beginning of labor.
All of a sudden I felt overwhelmed. I was treading on unfamiliar territory. I
knew I better make some quick decisions. ..did I want to give birth in the
bathtub? Did I want to wake up my daguther's? A few months prior I had
dreamed eight-year-old Sarah Lee was holding her brother's head as he was
coming out. As a homeschooling mother I am always on the prowl for "real
life" experiences to share with my children, so it only made sense to wake
I barely had time to rouse my daughters from their slumber. We all hurried
into the living room where I threw a plastic sheet on the carpet, got down
on all fours, and observed my body assist passively as Matthew slid out
quickly and, true to my dream's preview, Sarah lee guided her baby brother
as he descended to the living room floor. Determined to participate in this
magnificent event, two-year-old Jasmine yelled, "I'll get a rag and clean him
up!" as she went running for the kitchen towel.
Moments later we all hopped back in the tub and waited for the cutting of
his umbilical cord. I simply snipped it with a pair of non-sterilized sewing
scissors and didn't clamp off the ends - I have yet to observe a cat, dog,
or horse doing so.
When we got out of the tub the girls sat in the rocker while I wrapped
Matthew up for them to hold. As I was passing him over I felt a swoop,
and reached down just in time to catch my placenta before it splattered all
over the beige carpet. A trip to the bathroom revealed the rewards of my
relaxed birthing experience. ..my perineum was COMPLETELY INTACT. No
vaginal tears, no pain, not even a whisper of discomfort. There had been
no pain throughout my day of labor, during the birth itself, or afterward. I
was in heaven because the gates of heaven existed inside myself. My
dream had come true because I had created its reality.
I was also finally realizing just how devastated I had felt by the perineal
damage incurred with Jasmine's birth, and furthermore by the blinding pain
of my slashed belly when Sarah Lee was born. Now, instead of directing
part of my attention toward a bleeding hemorrhoid-laden crotch or stapled
abdomen, I was placing all my energy onto my peaceful newborn and my
A few hours later we all crawled into our family bed and slept gracefully
until awakening for our usual morning walk to the health food store, where
Matthew was placed on the produce scale to register a beautifully compact
6 pounds, 14 ounces.
There were lots of rainbows that morning - or were there? Maybe they
resided in me, thus that was all I could see. It was the most magical day
of my life, me and all those other primal mothers on the planet birthing
beautifully and carrying on.
Choose a joyously primal birth, then begin to weed your mental garden of
any and all fears that may separate you from your primal bliss.
BONDING.. .Bringing It All Together
"All babies look forward to a womb with a view."
Ashley Montagu, Touching: The Human Significance of the Skin
For nine months our babies listened to the rhythmic activity of our
heartbeats and oh how they love, upon birth, to be placed at our chest
where they re-connect to the beautiful sound of mother's rhythmic song.
Human babies need to be held. We are a continuous contact species,
biologically designed to feel the warm embrace of our provider, the tactile
stimulation derived from touch. Postpartum depression is non-existent for the
mother who clings tenaciously to her newborn upon birth. The biological
needs of both are intertwined and, when those combined needs are being
met, babies don't cry and mothers aren't depressed.
A baby's cry is their only avenue for signaling a need to be held. They
cry to be picked up. There is actual physical pain for babies who are
deprived of the stimulation derived from touch. Society has a hang-up
about giving babies what they need. We've all heard the admonition, "Don't
pick the baby up or she'll control you by crying every time she wants to be
held" or "Let him cry, it's good for his lungs." Wouldn't such a mentality
then suggest bleeding is good for the veins?
The human being is the slowest growing of all species. We're absolutely
helpless in the first year, save our ability to communicate needs through
crying. When those cries are not heard, are instead reacted to with
neglect, abuse, or tangible placebos like food, television, toys and other
devices, then our babies learn to bond with an artificial alternative to the
The consumer industry is filled with products that attempt to be mommy.
Don't buy devices to simulate what is real. Rather than wind up a baby
swing, let your infant feel the rhythmic motion of your active body as they
rest peacefully against you. Recognize the symbiosis between you and your
young. A strong bond will take you through rough times.
I remember walking down Main Street at midnight on a snowy Oklahoma
night. One-month-old Sarah Lee felt restless and I didn't have the floor
space in a 13 foot travel trailer to walk her back and forth. So I put her
in the baby sling and the rocking, rhythmic motion of my active body sent
her into a sweet slumber while I enjoyed a moonlight stroll. Vimala
McClure, author of Tao of Motherhood reminds us, "A mother who gives
herself completely to her infant meets herself in the dark and finds
fulfillment. In the hours between midnight and dawn, she crosses the
threshold of self-concern and discovers a Self who has no limits. A wise
mother meets this Presence with humility and steps through time into
selflessness. Infants know when their mothers have done this, and they
Bonding to something other than mommy is fertile ground for a
compromising childhood, a turbulent adolescence, and an addiction-oriented
adulthood. My most vivid memories as a toddler were the many nights I
slipped quietly into the kitchen, grabbed a hand full of white Wonder bread
and sneaked back to my lonely bed where I sucked on slice after slice until
I would lull myself to sleep. Such bonding to food has led me through a
myriad of eating disorders throughout my life. We are destined to bond and
if not to our mothers, then to whatever is within our reach.
Children have a right to their mothers, and a woman has the right to bond
with her children regardless of her financial or relationship status.
Unfortunately the term "illegitimate" is still present in the consciousness of
our culture. Single women who choose to follow through with pregnancies
and end up on the welfare rolls automatically enter the lion's den of social
disapproval, and their offspring are considered exempt from needing a full-
time mommy beyond a certain age. Being born out-of-wedlock is hardly a
disease that taints the potential of our children. Leonardo Da Vinci, age
twelve and illegitimate vowed, "I shall become one of the greatest artists the
world has ever known and one day I shall live with kings and walk with
princes." Let's not forget welfare constitutes only one percent of the annual
government spending, and I am personally much more interested in helping
single women raise peaceful humanitarians than I am in motivating the
military into building yet another bomb, or encouraging politicians to scout
out other planets. In the June 20, 1994 issue of Time magazine the
headlines read, "The War on Welfare Mothers: Reform may put them to
work, but will it discourage illegitimacy?" Once again, the insinuation is
being made that children born exclusively into the arms and lives of their
mothers are social deviants.
The only way to discourage "illegitimacy" is to encourage codependency
recovery because, in most cases, mothers end up single by virtue of the
fact that they repeat patterns in relationships that lead to the same results
over and over again. I suggest welfare reform that teaches attachment
mothering along with codependency recovery support culminating in a home
business training program that includes a start-up grant or guaranteed small
business loan making a bridge between welfare support and economic
Not only does society create a wedge between mother and child by day,
but night-time is equally influenced by cultural attitudes. The family bed is a
concept in bonding seldom practiced in our culture. The western practice of
placing babies in their own beds at night is at odds with human nature.
Given the fact that infants experience hunger at night as well as during the
day, not to mention the fact that emotional security for infants is found in
sucl<ling (oral gratification), it only makes sense that physical closeness
between mother and child would continue into the night.
Simply rolling over to breastfeed creates convenience for the mother and
comfort to her offspring. A friend called me one morning to say that she
was completely exhausted from sleepless nights since her baby's birth four
days prior. I asked if she was sleeping with her baby. She seemed
surprised by my inquiry, as she saw no correlation between her sleep
deprivation and the baby's place of slumber. I suggested she bring the
baby to bed with her. The next morning she called me and in a most
ecstatic voice reported, "It worked! I feel great! I just nursed him right
there in bed and neither one of us needed to fully wake up. Thanks so
much for the suggestion!"
Our babies naturally root for our breasts when they are hungry or insecure.
They might make little grunting sounds in their search, but if we are close
by to respond promptly there is no need for them to come fully alert
through the distress signal.
The two most popular arguments against family bed go like this. .."You might
roll over and suffocate your baby" and 'You'll spoil him and never get him
to sleep in his own bed." First, the human species would have snuffed
itself out by now if infant suffocation was the normal result of family
sleeping arrangements. Like all aspects of the modern world, cribs and
separate sleeping quarters are new in light of our rich and infinite heritage
in nocturnal togetherness. Second, older children eventually get to a point
in their young lives when they want privacy during times of slumber. In
part, it has to do with their developing sexuality and a desire for private
time. When Sarah Lee was ten years old she went through phases where
she excitedly created a comfortable bed in her art-room and actually slept
there for a few nights, soon to be followed by another dose of the family
bed where back came her horsey blanket and angel pillow. Toward the
end of her
eleventh year she began spending most of her nights in her own bedroom,
yet she was always fully aware of the fact that she was welcome into the
family bed whenever she felt the need or desire. It's fun to allow our
children the free reign to travel what trails their hearts require. And it's fun
to wake up to a bunch of warm bodies who make up the sacred family
And then there's the insidious idea that the family bed is a hot-seat for
incest. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have listened time and
again to incest survivors describe how an older or adult family member
slipped silently into the private bedrooms of these children where nobody
was around to protect them from the perpetrator's plan. The safest place
for our children is right next to us as we sleep. The family bed gives
intimacy a higher meaning as our babies and young children feel our
affection AND our protection.
The most common reason why aspiring primal mothers don't sleep with their
babies is due to what I call "spousal pouting"... partners who feel threatened
by the presence of a baby or child in the "parent's bed". Primal mothering
requires the ability to defend the emotional needs and biological rights of
our children despite any argument from others. We are not sex or cuddle
machines designed to be ready at the call of our lovers. We are hormonal
and heartfelt female humans looking after the primal needs of our offspring.
Night-time bonding is easily available because we all go to bed at the end
of our day. But the bonding process itself is a round-the-clock
responsibility. How do we meet our financial obligations, run errands, clean
house, and pursue personal goals while tending to the continuous contact
needs of our young? We see pictures of the baby strapped on its mother's
back while she works in the rice paddies, but what does that have to do
with our modern world?
The concept of baby-wearing in a culture where mother-child separation is
the norm creates the need to train ourselves to break past social ignorance,
that we may embrace the simplicity and convenience of continuous contact.
People will always have an opinion to offer, especially the dangerous notion
that we are spoiling our young by not disciplining them to be apart from us.
But the truth of the matter is that a most beautiful kind of discipline
develops in our babies as they observe the world from their secure place
on our body. They are calm, quiet, and alert. That's discipline.
Marsupial mothering, the act of baby-wearing, gives our children a leading
edge in intellectual growth as well as a warm, cozy place against our body.
For my graduate thesis I interviewed a neurosurgeon at Tulane University
who gave me this advice regarding my business of making and distributing
baby slings. He said, "Keep beating the path because baby slings offer the
single most successful method for optimum neurological development."
The constant rocking motion derived from our active body actually stimulates
our baby's brain, especially the part of the brain where pleasure is
produced. This explains why baby-sling babies always appear in a state of
bliss. They are!
Prior to Sarah Lee's birth I knew nothing about baby slings. My plan was
to use a Native American cradle-board. But one night I had a dream that
sent me in a new direction. In the dream I was exchanging the wooden
cradle-board in for a beautiful piece of purple cloth to be used for wearing
my newborn. Acknowledging the message in my dream opened my eyes
and my imagination to the ancient art of baby-wearing. With my newborn
tucked securely in her purple cloth - her womb with a view - I could easily
wash and hang clothes, attend my college classes, lecture at conferences,
buy groceries, sew slings for other mother/child couples to enjoy, type up
articles, clean my house, prepare meals, exercise and whatever else I
needed to do in a given day.
In my cross-cultural research I came to apprecate the physical and
psychological benefits of marsupial mothering. Cultures where babies are
worn up to three years host higher rates of social peace than societies
where babies are relegated to cribs and other non-human holding devices.
Studies with premature babies who received consistent rhythmic motion have
shown quicker weight gain. Rhythmic motion gave them the chance to feel
in-utero stimulus, otherwise denied them as a result of being born
My baby didn't cry. She had everything she needed: physical warmth,
closeness, skin contact, the sound of my happy heart, nursing access, and
the world in which to observe from her safe pouch. I didn't have to stop
everything I was doing in order to feed her. I just hooked her up and kept
on going. The close proximity of baby to breast allowed for frequent
nursings, which in turn resulted in a greater milk supply.
The primary prupose of my home business, The Mother and Child Reunion
Project is to establish in mothers and newborns their rightful couple-ship.
These past years have been blessed with equipping thousands of women
with our affordable COZY CRADLE baby slings, just $17.74 postpaid and
receiving beautiful testimonies such as the ones to follow:
"Your Cozy Cradle has saved me from distress. I really can't put into
words what the 'cozy' has meant to me and my baby. It seems so simple,
so right, so natural to keep my baby close and secure."
"I love my new Cozy Cradle so much! It is so lovingly made with the
ribbon and teethings beads, and I wear it everywhere."
"I enjoy wearing my 5-week-old son when he nurses. I nurse discreetly in
the mall, in restaurants, wherever! And he sleeps so soundly nestled to my
breast after feeding. I've found the Cozy Cradle works great when he's
fussy; the movement and my heartbeat seems to calm him right down."
"Carrying my child close to my heart enables me to dive into this young
soul's reality and know her needs, while being free to carry on with my own
life. It is the best way to ensure mutual respect and love to both mother
"My Cozy Cradle allows me to hold my baby close while I get my chores
done. I can breastfeed her, sing to her, and rock her to sleep while my
hands are free. She is easily comforted in her Cozy Cradle and prefers to
nap in it. I like knowing she is warm, content, and not alone. This keeps
us both happy, as she is held close to me where she can see things and I
have my hands free, and my arms don't get sore from her weight."
"I can actually wear my twins! Now I don't need to choose one baby over
the other. When they both need comforting, I can carry them each in a
Cozy Cradle and snuggle them at the same time, while I still have the
freedom to walk around and use both my hands. Thanks for making life a
Happily nurtured babies are content babies. Though there are many
reasons why child abuse and neglect occurs, one contributing factor is the
stress and intolerance a mother can feel when her baby cries a lot.
Sleeping with our babies at night and wearing our babies during the day
creates such a peaceful environment there's little room for stress.
One very important beauty of baby-wearing is that we are offering our
children a bird's eye view of life. Quiet alertness is their reality as they
move with us from task to task. Our hands and arms are free to perform
those functions being observed by our infants. At present, our culture
chooses one of two options: either a mother gives up trying to accomplish
much and just holds her baby while awkwardly attempting a few things, or
the baby is relegated to a crib or other artificial holding device so the
mother can be productive in various areas of her daily life.
One of my favorite reasons for wearing my babies is so other people don't
insist on holding them. Part of the bonding process is for my baby to feel
safe in familiar arms, gazing into familiar eyes. With my baby tucked
comfortably against me, people admire without insisting on holding my
young. If they do ask, I simply tell them, "No, my baby is only family-held."
Postpartum moments/months are so intimate, and we are responsible for
respecting that sacred space, regardless the opinions of others. People
have accused me of being selfish and overprotective because I don't let
anyone outside my immediate family hold my babies until they are several
months old; and even then I watch closely for my baby's reaction - taking
them back immediatley if they appear the least bit insecure or
uncomfortable. These are MY children, and I must follow MY protective
I once asked a woman who ordered my baby sling what she liked best
about wearing her baby. She said, "I like to wear my baby because then I
am assured that nobody will steal her." This response was probably
instigated by the sad fact that, just days prior at the local grocery store a
baby left in his plastic carrier on the grocery cart was stolen while the
mother was looking the other way. Such a nightmare could never occur in
the life of a marsupial mother.
Plastic carriers and strollers don't give our infants the human touch they
need. And for us mothers, it's far more cumbersome to carry one of those
plastic devices or to steer a stroller over curbs and through pedestrian traffic
than it is to enjoy the physical warmth of a blissful babe against our body.
We just never know when having our hands free and our child safely
secured to us could help save the life of our family.
A tornado in Oklahoma sent me running for shelter, belongings in each
hand while Sarah Lee was safe in the sling. A hurricane in Hawaii found
me wearing both of my daughters as I gathered up material necessities with
my free hands and sought safety from our home's nearing demise. In both
cases, my mental energies were freed up to deal with the situation at hand
instead of feeling overwhelmed by trying to keep a handle on frightened,
insecure children amidst disaster.
Bonding begins once we decide to follow through with a given pregnancy.
On the spiritual and biological levels we begin to form a relationship with
our developing child. This is also the time to begin groundwork for
maintaining the bonding process after birth. With our baby tucked
conveniently inside us we have yet to be faced with the challenge of
accomplishing daily responsibilities alongside the moment-by-moment needs
of a newborn.
With each of my pregnancies I quickly created a blueprint and worked
diligently throughout those months of gestation to build a lifestyle reflective
of my desire. With the cornerstone being my commitment to mother/child
togetherness, the construction of a lifestyle conducive to primal mothering
went smoothly and the finished product was always forthcoming.
For instance, when I moved to Hawaii in preparation for my second birth, I
applied for government housing assistance the same day I purchased a tent
built for two. I invested in the future while tending to the present. The
lady at the housing program informed me their waiting list was at least two
years long. Still, I added my name to that list and continued to envision a
satisfactory home environment for my expanding family, though at the time I
wasn't sure if that meant a cute little cottage or the eventual purchase of a
larger tent. Four days before Jasmine was born I received a letter stating
my name had reached the top of the list and we were now eligible to move
into a two-bedroom home.
All dreams have a price. Maintaining togetherness with my children has
meant sacrificing many things. But, not living my dream has an even
bigger price. In all decisions I ask myself how I want the story to tell ten
years from now - "I wanted to be with you, but..." or "I stayed with you, no
Primal mothering is a crash course in values clarification. I am faced with
making choices at every turn, choices that will mold the future reality of my
family. Staying loyal to my policy of togetherness brings about tremendous
feelings of confidence, despite the envrionmental discomfort we occasionally
A path always seems to be made, so long as I keep true to my
commitment. The following message from German philosopher Johann
Wolfgang von Goethe eloquently emphasizes the attitude I came to adopt, in
order to live my dream on a daily basis...
"Until one is committed
there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back,
Concerning all acts of initiative
there is one elementary truth,
the ignorance of which kills countless ideas
and splended plans:
That the moment one definitely commits oneself,
then providence moves too.
All sorts of things occur to help one
that would otherwise never have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision,
raising in one's favor all manner
of unforeseen incidents and meetings
and material assistance,
which no wo/man could have dreamt would have come
Many times, what appeared to be obstacles turned out to be opportunities
that led me into more enjoyable dimensions of living. During my college
days, with two classes remaining to complete graduate school I encountered
resistance from a professor who - unlike those professors for two years prior
- refused to allow my baby-wearing self into his class. I was placed in a
position of making a choice between my upcoming graduate degree or
maintaining the mother/child bond. With Sarah Lee at my breast, serenity in
my heart, and faith in our future I turned away from the choice to
compromise, walked out of the professor's office, glided down the thick
wooden steps of the social science building, and strode confidently away
from the university.
Three days later, while reading the best-selling book FIT FOR LIFE I
learned of a doctoral program in Natural Nutrition that could be achieved, in
most part, through correspondence. Upon applying to the Life Science
Institute at Austin, Texas and submitting my graduate thesis I soon heard
back from the president, T.C. Fry. This honorable man was so impressed
with my thesis that he offered me a full tuition scholarship along with a
writing assistantship for developing a Natural Mothering curriculum.
My future reality would have been COMPLETELY different, not to mention
vividly compromising had I opted to adhere to the condescending demands
of that professor and obediently turned little Sarah Lee over to someone
else while attending his mandatory classes. Yes, Richard Bach, it's
true. ..the only thing that shatters dreams is compromise.
Another interesting turn of events that came my way via honoring
togetherness - the cornerstone of primal mothering - was when I gave up
what little help I was getting from public assistance. When Sarah Lee was
just a toddler it was mandatory that I enter a work-training program whereby
I was to place my daughter in day-care eight hours daily for a week while I
was to attend this workshop. At the time I was working diligently on my
graduate thesis, building my baby sling business, and writing articles for
various mothering publications along with feeding the vision for writing this
book. Despite my heroic efforts at developing a solid financial base, the
welfare worker insisted my responsibility rested in entering the work-force as
soon as possilbe. Sensing the coldness of this women, Sarah Lee crawled
into my lap and sought comfort in nursing, to which the worker responded,
"And you better wean that child because we ARE going to put you out on
Our housing was on the line. Without welfare's financial assistance I would
not be able to pay rent. I LIKED having a roof over our head, but I
LOVED being with my child.
I thanked the welfare worker for what assistance I had thus far received,
drove over to the realty office where I gave notice on my apartment, and
went home to sew up a hefty supply of baby slings, change the oil in my
car, pack up our belongings, and set forth on an adventure that led us
through three months of delightful travel. We drove throughout the
southwestern states selling baby slings to mother we met along the way.
We thoroughly enjoyed the priority of our relationship despite the fact that
never once did we have more than a quarter of a tank of gas in the car or
$5.00 in my pocket. We were literally fueled on faith, while managing to
keep our fruit bowl filled.
We need welfare reform that takes into consideration both the bonding
needs of children and the career needs of women. There is great social
hostility toward mothers who choose welfare as an avenue of support. Even
the welfare workers themselves often exude a condescending attitude toward
those of us seeking assistance. Welfare needs to move away from a
punitive attitude and instead adopt an encouraging vision for its recipients.
For instance, rather than handicap female graduate students by considering
them "work eligible" because they hold an undergraduate degree, instead
encourage mothers to remain on welfare and pursue higher levels of
education that can ultimately place them in higher paying and more
rewarding careers. Any financial assistance program holding the idea that a
toddler is old enough to be separated from us is not taking into account the
true needs of our upright and walking older babies.
A primal mother does what it takes to stay with her young, like that
Mexican woman whose collection can was in charge of procuring family
finances while her baby held firm to his rightful place.
Perhaps the most joyful benefit of togetherness is the store-house of
memories that become inscribed on the family script. Sarah Lee and I are
especially fond of the warm, fuzzy feelings we get over the "curb-side
canned corn" memory when sometimes that was the only meal we could
afford. Our financially hardest times came during those months when we
lived on the beaches of Hawaii. Without a sewing machine, I could not
make and sell baby sings. Sarah Lee took it upon herself to get up early
in the morning, paint beautiful pictures, then go sell them to the tourists who
visited the beach near where our tent was pitched. This six-year-old
entrepreneur and devoted family member was averaging five follars a day!
After replenishing her art supplies, she put the rest in my purse for our
daily trip to the nearest store more than two miles away. There, we bought
two cans of corn and sat on the curb-side. Using our trusty knife, we
opened those prized
packages and proceeded to relish each sweet and succulent morsel of that
meal. To this day, the mere sight of a can of corn melts my heart to the
Another benefit to following our dreams is the positive impact it inevitably
has on others. We become a role model of conviction, a light that shows
the way for others who consider living a life of commitment rather than
merely an existence of compromise. I often think of my friend who sadly
weaned her infant and went back to work as a breastfeeding advocate for
the WIC program. She was in a position to make some positive changes
for the future of mothers and children had she chosen a path different than
day-care. How different the rippling effects would have been, had she
tucked her sweet deserving daughter into a sling and reported back to work.
Her mothering convictions amidst career competency could have influenced
her co-workers, government policy, social consciousness, and thus the world
at large. Instead, she fanned the notion that mother-child separation was
inevitable. It's a supply and demand world out there. If we demand a
where the needs of our children are included in all decision-making, then we
will ultimately be supplied with an environment conducive to primal
mothering. I envision a future where all architectural blueprints include the
needs of mothers and their children. Sound-proof enclosures in college
classrooms where mothers can hear the lecture while rocking their babies.
Public restrooms with little sinks and toilet seats along with changing tables
and rocking chairs. Recovery groups with play areas for children of all
How did society get to the place where handing over our babies is the
norm? Maybe it's a sad by-product of the way we hand over our
pregnancies and our births. Do you remember being told as a child not to
disturb the freshly-hatched birdlings, or the family cat with her new litter of
kittens? Do you remember why? That the mothers might abandon their
young if they smell the scent of another on their offspring...
When strangers surround us during birth and then remove our newborn from
our sight, smell, and touch: when still more strangers scrub away the primal
scent of our baby's natural sweet covering known as vernix, and when
these strangers return our baby to us many minutes or even hours
later.. .this is a gross act of interference with the postnatal bonding process.
As primal mothers we are assigned the task of protecting the mother/child
bond through all its stages. Finances are obviously one of the biggest
obstacles we face, since the business world does not invite our children to
the work-place. A great option to consider is creating a home business. I
started my baby sling business by collecting enough aluminum cans to put
ten dollars down on a used sewing machine. I sewed up one sling, sold it
to a friend who requested it for her infant son, then used her payment to
buy enough fabric to make two more slings that sold at the next La Leche
League meeting. Within a month the sewing machine was paid off and I
had enough profit to pay for an ad in La Leche League's bi-monthly
magazine, New Beginnings. Today I am still happily in the baby sling
business and have added book-writing, all in the context of raising my three
We live in a time when the mother/child relationship is being crucified at
every stage. We need supportive people in our lives, people who agree
with us that nothing is more important than the time we spend with our
children. During the time Sarah Lee and I traveled the southwest I met
with the staff at Mothering magazine in Santa Fe, New Mexico - a business
play, by the way, that welcomes both their employees and the children of
those employees. When Peggy O'Mara, the publisher/editor of this
powerfully nurturing magazine learned that I was living out of my car, and
therefore without accesss to electricity for sewing my slings, she offered me
her personal office as a place to replenish my supply.
In one of her editorial letters Peggy O'Mara said that, demanding premature
independence in our young is like begrudging winter for not yet being
spring. But so much of what we do to our children is a repetition of the
parenting we received.
Just as a computer will only retrieve what is stored in memory, we must
pull up the file on our past, edit where necessary, and re-program ourselves
so future generations can enjoy a higher state of self-love and peaceful co-
habitation. Each and every one of the baby slings I make hosts a ribbon
of seven colorful teething beads representing the Native American philosophy
that our decisions today must be based on their overall impact seven
generations from now. Will tomorrow be the fruition of humanity's dream to
develop into the cosmic beings we are intended to be, or a nightmare that
continues to haunt us all?
I once had a nightmare that affected me so much, when I woke up I was
drenched in cold sweat and frightened to the core. In the dream it was a
rainy night, around midnight. A huge sign was flashing the words DRIVE-
UP DAYCARE. I watched a car pull up to the side of the cold, gray
building where a large metal drawer opened out. The women in the car
deposited her two small, sleeping children into this holding-tank, tore off a
ticket stub, rolled her window up against the rain, and drove away into the
night. I stood there and felt nausea overtake my entire being. The dark,
cold, and wet night seemed to say it all as I wept for humanity's fate.
Dreams give us the great benefit of changing priorities in the middle of the
stream. Even a computer will ask if you are sure before deleting a file.
Sad outcomes are simply the by-product of repeated treks down paths that
deny the necesesary nurturing of humanity. The decision to govern our own
pregnancy, enjoy the privacy of birth, remain with our babies, feed them
from the nutritious divinity of our breasts, wear them close as we carry on
in daily life, sleep together in a warm and secure embrace, and give
ourselves over to the primal instinct in all areas of our mothering experience
lays the golden bricks that pave the way for a better world to come.
BREASTFEEDING. ..Best Food, Beautifully Wrapped
"It isn't that American women are physically different or deficient.
They either don't know it can be done so they don't try, or they are
in an environment which is unsupportive, even hostile, and they become
discouraged early." Dana Raphael, The Tender Gift
Human nutrition via the breast is a huge part of the bonding process.
Warm, sweet milk accompanied by warm, soft sl<in and tender eye contact
is a fine recipe for feeling connected to one another.
In a culture where bottle-feeding is the norm, aspiring primal mothers must
seek out both education and support. Even though nursing our young is a
primal act, part of the process to pass down biological information involves
an observation of the experience to which the species is formatted.
La Leche League International is a breastfeeding support organization that
educates mothers on the dynamics of breastfeeding and offers ongoing
support through family-oriented meetings, literature, telephone consultation,
and international conferences. Because of this organization, a helpful
breastfeeding mother is never more than a phone call away, night or day.
Whether discussing simple breastfeeding techniques, tandem nursing, or even
learning to breastfeed an adopted baby, the answers can be found through
this valuable group of dedicated lactating women.
When you think about it, no subject on mothering could be more important
than breastfeeding. We're talking about the fountain of life, the natural flow
of a perfect food that meets the overall needs of our young. From birth
right up until the day they bite into a banana and beyond, our babies are
assured of everything their little growing bodies need. But, without support
from other successful breastfeeding women, we are left exposed and
vulnerable to all the breastfeeding-failure horror stories so many women
experience, not to mention the formula industry's multi-billion dollar marketing
scheme to get our babies latched onto their meal instead of ours.
In the book Unassisted Childbirth, Laura Kaplan Shanley discusses the sad
consequence of her initial breastfeeding experience. Her firstborn was not
latching on properly, thus was not able to activate Laura's milk supply to the
extent that "hind milk", the heavier and more nutritious milk that comes
toward the end of each feeding would come in. When visited by a social
worker just five days after the home birth of her son, rather than informing
Laura her baby needed to be tal<ing in more of her nipple for proper
sucking and better milk let-down, she instead jotted down a note on her pad
of paper, then left. She returned several hours later accompanied by a
physician and three policemen, informing Laura they were taking her baby
because, according to the social worker, the baby was too thin and needed
to be in a hospital for examining.
It took five horrifying days and nights to get her newborn back into her
arms, a nightmare that could have easily been avoided had the social
worker chosen to respect the mother/infant bond enough to educate Laura at
the moment the problem was apparent. Once the correct nursing process
was brought to Laura's attention it was simple to re-position the baby so he
was taking in the entire nipple and sucking properly. Like Jonathan
Livingston Seagull would say, "It always works when you know what you're
I have been breastfeeding for nearly twelve years now, and I owe my
success to my initial commitment in primal mothering, along with female
support and personal affirmations. In the beginning I attended monthly La
Leche League meetings in my community and developed life-long friendships
with the members. I also grabbed hold of the empowering tool known as
creative visualization. I taped a beautiful picture of a woman nursing her
newborn to my mirror where it reminded me daily of the breastfeeding
"reality". I envisioned myself meeting all the nutritional needs of my
upcoming child. Contrary to the advice from many around me, I did not
buy bottles just in case my milk wouldn't come in. I scruffed up my nipples
with a coarse wash-cloth at shower times to prepare myself for the
discomfort that recipents of horror stories insisted I would know. I even
shopped the thrift stores for a post-natal wardrobe that would allow easy-
access nursing in all
Given the fact my first birthing experience was a medical nightmare, were it
not for all my prenatal efforts at creating a successful breastfeeding
relationship I know I would have left the hospital with formula in hand and
failure in my heart. Between the breastfeeding ignorance of hospital staff
and the formula industry's free-flowing disbursement of their wares, (for the
specific purpose of getting us, as consumers, hooked on their brand), a
mother in the hopes of breastfeeding hardly stands a chance.
Most of the women I talked to who were unsuccessful in their breastfeeding
attempts were of the generation when hospitals adhered strictly to four-hour
feeding schedules, separating newborns from their mothers upon birth, and
bottle-feeding them in the nursery between visits to the mother.
This separation between mother and baby would set the tone for
breastfeeding failure. The distress from crying for their mothers and feeling
starved on all levels brought these babies to exhaustion, while the stress felt
by their mothers, who wondered what was wrong with this picture inhibited
the let-down reflex; thus the doctor's diagnosis that this woman was simply
incapable of producing milk.
A newborn is hungry and/or in need of oral gratification for the purposes of
security much more often than every four hours, and the hunger pains of an
infant are far more intense than those experienced by adults; a physical
discomfort that further contributes to the distress that leads to exhaustion.
Sucking on a human nipple requires greater physical effort than does
sucking on an artificial nipple, so these exhausted and traumatized babies
were placated with bottles of sugar water and other horrid concoctions and,
therefore, were vulnerable to "nipple confusion" when finally put to their
When these confused little beginners at life finally made it to their mother's
breast and sucked with the same ease which brought immediate results from
the artificial nipple back at the nursery, nothing would come forth. They
gave up and began to cry again. Such a stressful response to nursing
then caused their mother to feel inadequate. An added problem to this
scenario was the fact that whatever medication was given to their mother
during labor and at the time of birth also affected the newborn's initial
breastfeeding attempts. With these factors at play, the typical result was a
diagnosis of breastfeeding failure and a future of bottle-feeding and formula.
Baby-led breastfeeding, sometimes referred to as on-demand nursing, is the
recipe for primal mothering. We intuitively know when our babies are
hungry and they intuitively root when they feel hunger, as well as at times
when they need reassurance. Why would the female human be the only
animal incapable of reading the hunger needs of her young? These last
few generations of feeding schedules have contributed greatly to the
epidemic eating disorders of our time. Between the crime of being
separated from their mother matrix upon birth and the neglect of being
denied food when they are hungry in their first hours and days of life (even
longer for those babies whose mothers held steady to the doctor's strict
feeding plan) is it any surprise we now host the largest eating disordered
population anywhere in the world?
As I've shown in the example of a mother who is trying to nurse in the
inhospitable conditions of a hospital, stress is generally the major factor
involved with any type of breastfeeding complication. I remember my first
and only experience with what La Leche League refers to as a nursing
strike. My air-conditioner had broken down on a 115 degree Oklahoma
summer day, final exams were the following morning, I had a paper due by
the next day, and I ended up having to stay at a motel for the night so as
to beat the heat, type up my paper, and finish studying, with all the stress
my milk wasn't flowing as usual, and little Sarah Lee was getting frustrated,
refusing to keep trying since she couldn't get anywhere in the first place.
It was such a helpless feeling for both of us. I paced the floor all night,
holding my hungry, crying baby. I finally made a late-night call to one of
my La Leche League friends. She assured me Sarah Lee would not starve
to death in the course of a night, and that my "let down" was probably
being affected by all the stress I was feeling at the time. I gave up on
any ideas of getting sleep that night. Instead, I put her in the sling and
walked back and forth while reading my notes and then typed standing up,
swaying back and forth as she slept blissfully against me. Come morning,
with academic responsibilities behind me, my milk flow resumed and little
nurser Sarah Lee made up for lost time.
Modern daily life has enough stress to contend with. We certainly don't
need the added strain of societal non-support, but it's a reality that demands
our attention. We must prepare ourselves for social pressure. Personal
fears about breastfeeding, a partner's embarrassment or insecurity, our
family's disapproval, friend's discomfort when with us as we nurse our
young, or the professionals and their expert ignorance. ..at every turn we are
faced with advocates for compromise. Like the first time I nursed in public.
My then-husband and I went to a college basketball game. As I settled
onto the bench, four-day-old Sarah Lee began to root. I automatically lifted
my shirt. Immediately my unsupportive spouse turned red from
embarrassment and whispered to me, "You're not going to do that HERE!"
Just as I was preparing to defend my newborn against his attack a campus
policeman came over and asked me to "Please refrain from nursing in this
public place." I looked them both square in the eyes and, as if looks could
kill, they each backed down and left me alone to feed my hungry newborn.
I am seriously repulsed by men who are not suppportive of breastfeeding.
Many of these non-supporters condone "closet cases", but they are highly
offended when exposed to this natural act in a public place. I once saw a
television show where one of the male characters, repulsed by the sight of
a mother nursing in a hospital waiting room turned to his friend and said,
"Oh, how disgusting! Does she have to do that here?"
That's not funny. That's sick. That's a blatant attack on the innate rights
of our children! I'm especially sensitive to this subject of male response to
breastfeeding because I spent ten years of my life as a topless dancer
paying my rent with the money tossed to me by men who were enthralled
by the sight of bare breasts.
The human female breast has been stolen from its rightful recipients and
turned into a sexual object. The American mammary glands are literally
owned by a breastfeeding-starved adult society comprised of an unsupportive
public, a multi-billion-dollar pornography empire, and experts on subliminal
marketing. It's not just Playboy capitalizing on this cultural hunger. Even
women respond sexually to the "public relations" display of breasts. Just try
to find an issue of Cosmopolitan WITHOUT the tantalizing effects of
There is a particular perversion that occurs in societies where breastfeeding
is no longer the norm. Somehow, the absence of sensual feedings that
were biologically expected early on register as a sexual hunger later in life.
It's a breast-starved population. Pornography is the prolific weed that
inevitably grows in a garden of bottle-fed seedlings.
In our culture, where sexuality and shame are so closely linked, there's a
double whammy that makes public breastfeeding even more difficult. As you
would have guessed, the basketball game wasn't my last encounter with
social resistance to public nursing. In college, male students complained
about Sarah Lee nursing while I was in class. In town, restaurant workers
glared with disdain as I fed my baby while I tried to enjoy their luncheon
special. No better example of the displaced breast could be had than my
experience at a nudist community when Sarali Lee was just a toddler.
Early one morning, while dangling my legs in the swimming pool, Sarah Lee
sat in my lap and quietly began to nurse. Later that day the manager took
me aside to say that some of his important clientele (all male) had
complained about the breastfeeding incident, and for me to refrain from
nursing by the pool. By nightfall we were miles down the road, setting our
sights on a more
It is true that much of the social disapproval I have endured could have
been alleviated by the imoplementation of a nursing shawl. However, as a
primal mother and social reformer, there can be no room in my life for
embarrassment, or for acquiescing to social norms. There is no strength in
compromise. Not only does an attempt to hide the act of breastfeeding
(euphemistacally called discreet nursing) exacerbate the already prevalent
attitude of shame, but it also denies our babies the wonderful eye contact
between mother and child that makes nursing so special. If anything, a
shawl strengthens the shame factor, teaching other women - especially girls
who are heading into womanhood - that feeding one's baby is an eye-sore
That which is observed on a regular basis is considered normal, which is
EXACTLY why social exposure to breastfeeding is so vitally important -
despite the glares and other disapproving stares. Public nursing will
ultimately create a nursing public. As primal mothers we can't afford to be
controlled or silenced by societal disapproval. The bonding process depends
on our militant determination to give our children what they need, while we
as women exercise our right and responsibility to play an active role in
society at large. We cannot bow to this "don't feed your baby in front of
me" mentality. I have learned to worry less about whether others are
uncomfortable with my public nursing lifestyle, and worry more about being
able to comfortably nurse wherever I go. For me, this means wearing a
wardrobe that allows for easy access. I have become best friends with the
likes of skirts, pareos, shorts, tube tops, halter tops, tank tops, bathing suit
tops, and short blouses. At any given moment, no matter what the
situation, my children can crawl into my lap and nurse.
Another important consideration is the fact that children are born with the
desire to play with their food. From the time they are infants, our non-
nursing nipple at any given feeding becomes a play-toy. Primal mothers all
over the planet have solved this potentially irritating tendency by wearing
brightly colored beads around their neck. This delightful diversion entertains
the busy little hands of their nurslings. Our COZY CRADLE baby sling has
a looped ribbon with bright beads securely attached so babies can play with
them while nursing.
Slings are wonderful. With our baby right in front of us and so close to
our milk supply, we don't have to stop everything we're doing to nourish our
young. Once, upon entering a crowded Alcoholics Anonymous meeting an
Indian elder sarcastically shouted to me, "Hey! You're supposed to have
your papoose on the back, like they do on my reservation. How come you
got that baby in the front?" To his public embarrassment and my primal
mothering satisfaction I eloquently replied, "Because my tits are in the front!"
In this day and age, we need a sense of humor to go along with the
courage necesssary to raise our young straight from the heart. You just
never known when yet another "expert" is going to leap out at you.
What little social tolerance there is for breastfeeding quickly dissipates as
our infants grow older, especially if that developing infant is a male. It is a
sad fact that mothers tend to wean their sons much sooner than their
daughters. It's a combination of the "You're a big boy now" bullshit and a
heavy-duty case of pressure from other family members that kicks our boy
babies out of the mothering nest prematurely. My, I wonder if there is any
correlation between this breastfeeding fact and the reality that pornography's
clientele is primarily male.
Nature would not intend for one gender to be nursed long than another.
ALL children need the breast for as long as it takes to reach satiation in
his first and vitally important stage of their overall development. Primal
mothers honor child-led weaning. It is not uncommon for a child who is old
enough to read and write to need occasional nursing and additional
My receptivity to this need in my children has brought me face to face with
the Child Protective Services. Neighbors complained that I was still nursing
Sarah Lee who was then seven years old. Evidently I had mentioned
something about it in one of my friendly conversations at the pool-side. A
primal mother has the tendency to talk openly about who she is and how
she lives her life.
My behavior was being classified as sexual abuse. You've probably heard
of various court cases across the country where nursing mothers of older
babies and young children are being brought to trial for the same reason. I
asked the two CPS officers if they were aware of the fact that the average
duration of breastfeeding worldwide is four years, a statistic that includes
nations like ours where we hardly register a duration of six weeks and only
amongst a small fraction of children. Therefore, when removing from the
statistics industrialized nations who have departed from primal mothering
practices, the average duration extends to the first seven years of life.
They left enlightened, after having closed the case, and offered to tell my
neighbors to mind their own business.
I had a dream soon after Sarah Lee's birth where I was told she needed to
nurse for at least seven years. At the time I had no frame of reference to
properly integrate this intuitive message. My La Leche League meetings
exposed me to babies as old as two years nursing, but that's as far as my
mind could fathom. Then I ran across a magazine where I found a picture
showing an eight-year-old boy stopping briefly to nurse at his mother's
breast while she was busy managing her fruit stand at a local farmer's
market in South Africa. I immediately thought back to my dream and
realized I was being given confirmation. I asked a few Cherokee elders in
my community about their childhood experiences with nursing. Several of
them recalled either they themselves or some of their childhood friends to
have been nursing occasionally at ages upward of nine and ten.
Weaning is a process that is best accomplished when taking into
consideration the emotional needs of our young. And, believe me, nobody
else will take those needs into consideration if you don't. The medical
profession promotes weaning and the use of a cup long before our children
are even one year old. When Sarah Lee was just nine months out of the
womb a pediatrician berated me for the fact that my child's diet remained
exclusively mother's milk. He went on to say that I was being both
irresponsible and unrealistic, that this was not a third world country and it
was my duty to take advantage of all the nutritional advancements America
had to offer. Ironic that he was originally from the Orient. People catch on
fast to the dysfunctional ways of American society.
We can potentially put the lives of our babies at stake when we choose not
to nurse, or to wean early. What if there was no formula outlet and you
had to rely on your milk supply for hours, days, or weeks on end? Though
this scenario may sound far-fetched in our abundant consumerist society, let
me give you a couple of examples where breast was not only best but, the
When Sarah Lee was two months old Oklahoma was hit by a devastating
twenty-four hour storm and the approach of a tornado. Huddled in the dark
and damp tornado shelter for many long hours - with no way of knowing if
stores or other formula-dispensing places would be left standing - my infant
nursed peacefully. There was virtually no threat to her milk supply. As
long as I survived, she would thrive. Seven years later, two-month-old
Jasmine at my breast. Hurricane Iniki swept over our tiny Hawaiian island
like no hurricane ever had. Whole communities were gathered in public
buildings to await the final verdict of this massive storm's rage. Bottle-fed
babies cried all through the night and into the morning because their
mothers no longer had access to water with which to mix the formula.
Only one infant, in a building housing dozens, slept blissfully through that
natural catastophe - little nurser. Jasmine Kokee Halfmoon.
When the hurricane had finally passed and we all set our eyes on what
was left of our community, bottle-feeding mothers were faced with the facts.
No running water, no way to reach stores that were so badly damaged they
were not able to open to the devastated public, starving infants, and empty
bottles. These desperate mothers held their screaming babies while
watching the skies for military helicopters that were heading our way to drop
cases of infant formula.
As much as I wanted to, I could not help those infant victims of hunger.
Their relationship to a bottle had clouded over the instinctive memory of a
human nipple. They would have literally starved to death before figuring out
how to get milk from me. It's scary to see how tenuous is our relationship
to primal intellect. We use it or we lose it. What isn't embraced early on
appears to be lost for a later time.
We play a potentially deadly game when avoiding the path of primal
mothering. How sick, when society is more accepting of the screaming
hunger of its newborns than it is of a mother satisfying that newborn's
Anyone who has ever had a taste of human milk knows the delightfully
sweet treat that flows for the sake of humanity. Human milk is composed
of water, lactose (sugar), fats (cream), and proteins. The first milk, those
few days after our baby is born is called colostrum. It's a slightly thicker
fluid that contains 10% protein, which drops to 2% after only eight days.
There is also a high concentration of antibodies immediately after birth that
declines rapidly after the first two or three days. Nature inundates the
systems of our newborns with exactly what they need to be healthy, and
formula industries cannot emulate this vital stage of human feeding.
Sometimes a breastfeeding mother will ask me how she can tell if her baby
is getting enough to eat. The proof is in the diaper. Six or more soaked
diapers in a twenty-four hour period is ample proof that baby is nursing
properly and milk flow is responding to the sucking. For those of you not
using the elimination timing method whereby you can see exactly how much
your baby is peeing, I highly recommend cloth diapers so you can determine
your baby's urinary output. Disposable, plastic diapers absorb the urine in
such a way that it is difficult to discern when and how much your baby has
Occasionally a newborn will sleep for a very long period of time, not
awaken to nurse, thereby hosting a dry diaper. Not to be alarmed. As
long as a baby is receiving lots of physical loving attention, expecially the
kind of attention that is derived from being held in a sling, you don't need
to worry about their lengthy slumber and missed feedings. They will wake
up when they get hungry enough. As I said before, their hunger pains are
strong signals for survival.
As far as bowel movements are concerned, because human milk is so fine-
tuned to meet the overall needs of our young, there is little residue that
their bodies must push out. Therefore, breastfed babies have fewer and
smaller bowel movements than their bottle-fed counterparts. I also want to
mention the fact that, as the newborn baby begins life and the necessary
process of bowel elimination, their first bowel movement is usually of a tar,
almost black color and somewhat mucus-like in texture.
Another concern I hear on a regular basis is whether or not a mother's milk
supply will continue for the weeks and months to follow. Breastmilk
availability is based on demand and supply; the more demand, the greater
the supply. This truth reinforces the warning to steer away from pacifiers
and supplemental bottle feedings because the less our babies are sucking
on OUR nipples, the less demand on our milk production abilities and the
less milk overall. Child-led or on-demand nursing assures us of keeping a
quality milk supply. I'm a perfect example of this natural milk-producing
phenomenon. My milk has been flowing steadily for over a decade. And
no, I don't consume huge amounts of dairy products to keep up this
lactating momentum. My diet is comprised primarily of fruit with some
vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Putting children other than our own to our breasts is another misunderstood
primal reality, one our society neither acknowledges nor seems to remember
from its recent past. A primal mother doesn't deny a hungry infant her
breasts, whether that child is her biological offspring or not. There is
something eternal and sacred about serving the needs of chidlren in our
midst. This primal sense of responsibility develops in our offspring a deep
sense of trust in women, knowing that mothers and grandmothers in general
care deeply about the particular needs of any child.
I have nursed any child who needed comfort and/or food and find it strange
that people can get into such an uproar over nursing someone else's young
- have they never heard the term "wet nurse"? Have they never sensed
the depth of sisterhood? Many of our recent ancestors had wet nurses
during their infancy and beyond. Keep in mind that the bottle is a recent
invention compared to the eternal herstory of the delightfully beautiful female
breast and its sweet flowing milk. If I was a baby I'd prefer enveloping my
searching mouth around the soft nipple of a loving woman, than stare at an
upright plastic bottle.
For those of you who don't like visits to the doctor or dentist, breastfeeding
is the way to go. The more aggressive style of sucking necessary for
breastfed babies results in greater jaw development and thus better spacing
for teeth. Babies who are breastfed for at least six months have three
times fewer ear infections than babies who are not given mother's milk; five
times fewer urinary tract infections; five times fewer serious illnesses; and
seven times fewer allergic reactions. And babies fed from the milk of
fruitarian mothers enjoy an infancy devoid of any physical ailments.
Women who breastfeed for a lifetime total of two years or more have a
forty percent less incidence of breast cancer. Women who have been
breastfed when they were children have a twenty-six percent less breast
cancer incidence than women who were not breastfed.
Breastfeeding also delays the return of fertility. Breastfed children are less
likely to develop diabetes. Breastfeeding enhances intellectual development.
Prolonged lactation results in greater weight loss for the mother from one to
twelve months postpartum. Human milk lessens the risk of diarrhea for the
breastfeeding baby. Breastfeeding promotes dental health. Breastmilk has
antibacterial properties. Breastfeeding greatly reduces the threat of Sudden
Infant Death Syndrome. Colostrum, the first milk is a complete food for the
newborn. Diaper rash occurs less, and diaper duty itself is more pleasant
because the odor from the feces of a breastfed baby is sweet compared to
the foul smell derived from formula or other non-human milk.
Human milk meets human needs. Formula is a dismal imitation, and cow's
milk is designed to build cows, not humans. The survival organ of cows is
their muscles for the purpose of running from predators, thus their milk is
specifically tuned to building massive muscle. That explains why a calf
gains some four pounds daily thereby quicl<ly attaining its large mass. By
comparison, the survival organ of our human species is the brain, and
human milk specifically feeds brain development. Mother's milk literally
feeds the intellect of humanity.
This nutritional axiom sheds a brilliant light on the fact that, in just a few
generations we have managed to decimate the planet and its diverse
inhabitants. It is these same few generations who have, for the most part,
been denied nature's brain food.
Our culture has a highly illusory relationship to cow's milk in particular and
animal products in general. The osteoporosis scare is just one of many
hypes used to convince people of their "need" for these foods. Why, then,
in the country where the largest consumption of animal products occurs we
find the highest rate of osteoporosis? The truth of the matter is that we
are consuming far too much of the wrong kinds of calcium and protein, thus
poisoning ourselves in an effort to ingest what authorities tell us we need.
Let's not forget that the nutritional authorities are politically and financially
related to the unbelievably high profits derived from the sale of animal
products, and other foods such as cereals that are always accompanied by
Just how long does breastmilk meet the growing needs of our young, and
what happens next?
My children were exclusively breastfed for the first year, and more than
ninety percent of their diet continued to come from my milk into and even
past their second year with the introduction of such fruits as watermelon,
bananas, coconut, papayas, and avocados.
Transitioning from human milk to the next step in the human dietary is host
to yet another barrage of social myths and other nutritional assumptions.
Judging by my own experience and the perfect healtln of my clnildren, fruit is
nature's plan for the next phase of culinary delight. After all, a freshly
picked fig or mango - according to all the senses - is as pleasing as one's
experience at the breast.
Being the die-hard detective of human roots that I am, my search for
nature's nutritional plan unfolded this knowledge to me as gracefully and
penetratingly as had those insights about brithing, bonding, and
breastfeeding. I was reading an article about primates when the proverbial
light went on in my head.
The author was describing how baby primates naturally transition from
mother's milk to fruit and that, in fact, the nutritional composition of primate
milk is nearly identical to that of fruit.
FRUITARIAN MOTHERING.. Paradise Found
"The plant-eaters still form at the present time,
as they have always done, the great majority of
animals on earth. The most highly developed
plant eaters are fruit eaters; the highest fruit
eater is the human being."
Dr. O.L.M. Abramowski, Fruitarian Diet and Physical Rejuvenation
There is a vibration in the word "fruitarian" that taps into our primal core,
our innate knowledge of nutrition. It's the Garden of Eden erected within.
Every mother can relate to the wonderful sense of responsibility she feels
when offering her children fruit. It's the same awesome sense of
responsibility combined with serenity and calm that accompanies the act of
In fact, perfectly ripe fruit IS mother's milk. When our own diet consists
primarily of fruit we can count on a healthy production of rich milk in all
necessary constituents for meeting the needs of our young. As stated in
the last chapter, primate babies go straight from their mother's milk to
succulent fruit. And so it can be with our own growing babies.
Our children love and thrive on fruit, easily assimilating all of the amino
acids (protein), calories, carbohydrates, essential vitamins, fat, calcium and
other minerals necessary to develop and maintain the powerfully strong and
agile frames that keep them playing hard from sun-up to sun-down, day in
and day out.
Fruit is a cleansing food that delivers necessary nutrients in correct
proportions to all the cells of our bodies. Fruit digests easily due to its
highly usable constituents, and supplies our bodies with a high level of
water which further keeps our systems from experiencing constipation.
Unlike the poor combinations derived from animal products and other
processed foods, fresh fruits enter our mouth in all their deliciousness and
activate the enzymes necessary for quick digestion. With fruit, the stomach
serves as a corridor whereas when consuming the Standard American Diet
(SAD), the stomach becomes a holding tank for putrefaction and
The antacid industry would fold up within the month if our population
embraced fruit as a dietary focus. Why? Because the poor combinations
of already poor food choices creates an acidic environment in the stomach
which results in chronic indigestion. The multi-billion-dollar success of the
antacid industry relies heavily on this combination of events.
In contrast, fruit is alkaline upon digestion and therefore matches the body's
natural alkaline state. Human milk also reflects the alkaline balance of our
human physiology, whereas cow's milk and other formulas are acidic.
Understanding the composition of breastmilk can lead us to insights about
necessary dietary needs for the weaned and beyond. Human milk is a low
protein, high fat, and very sweet food packed full of all the nutrients
necessary for newborns to double their weight in a matter of months. Since
the amount of protein we need decreases slightly after the first months of
life, and the ratio of amino acids (pre-digested protein) in fruit is just slightly
lower than that of breastmilk the nutritional composition of fruits responsibly
carries on the role of growing our children's bodies and maintaining their
When my mothering career began many years ago I started transitioning to
a fruitarian diet. As a result of this alignment to nature's plan my children
have enjoyed superb health, and I have levels of physical and mental
energy beyond measure. My emotional attachments to cooked and other
junk foods have been challenged at every turn, but the reward of improved
health has always kept me going in the right direction. My book, Cooked
Foods Anonymous is dedicated to addressing this issue of cooked-food
dependency and offers a recovery program that is realistic, revealing, and
produces fantastic results.
Finding our roots in fruitarianism requires the courage to address our
emotional attachment to many culturally acceptable food choices. And
sometimes that courage gets stretched to the point of confronting "authority"
figures who cannot see beyond the cultural norm. I once had neighbors
who called the Child Protective Services on me because my children were
not receiving the kinds of foods these neighbors deemed normal and
necessary. That night a police officer came to my door saying there was a
complaint of neglect. He said he needed to look into my cupboards to see
if I had any food. Having just shopped at the health food store that
afternoon, I was looking forward to educating this obese uniformed officer.
Upon opening first one cupboard and then the next, he turned to me with a
surprised look on his face and said, "Hey, you don't have ANY food in your
I suggested he look down at the table he was leaning over. His strained
leather belt responsible for holding in his huge pot-belly was bruising my
food supply - a table heavy-laden with more than fifty pounds of fresh,
organic fruit: watermelon, oranges, papayas, pineapple, bananas, apples,
and figs. I motioned him to the refrigerator where awaited shelves of fresh
organic vegetables. And then I finished this tour by pointing to the two
five-pound glass jars of organic nuts and dried fruits on my kitchen counter.
His reply, "But you don't have any milk or canned goods. I'm going to
have to fill out a report and you will be hearing from the Child Protective
Services over the next few days."
I called them rather than waiting to receive their call. After complaining
about this intrusion by the ignorant officer, I took the time to educate this
woman about fruitarianism. By the time our conversation was coming to a
close she admitted, "I can't really argue with you. After all, your children
have never been sick a day in their lives. In fact, in many ways I admire
you for having the courage to live up to what you know is right. I will
close this case because there is no substantial evidence of neglect."
We literally have to fight for what is natural. Just today I received a letter
from a reader who was livid over the fact that a recent radio show was
discussing whether it should be legal for women to breastfeed in public. It
is clearly time to change this trend of thought. Baring the human breast is
We love to start our first meal of the day with watermelon in the bath tub.
It's a warm, sweet, and cozy way to connect with one another before
venturing off into our individual realities in the security and comfort of home.
The rest of the morning is replete with fresh fruit juices and frozen banana
smoothies, adding whatever fruit sounds fun at the time. I also fill plastic
popsicle holders with the smoothie mixture so that my children and their
friends can enjoy healthy treats throughout the day.
In the afternoon I make large fruit or vegetable platters and my children
grab from them whenever hunger strikes. I also arrange these fruit or
vegetable pieces atop lettuce leaves, and we roll up our produce burrito-
style. Children love to participate in food preparation. For the fruitarian
child, meal-time is "arts and crafts" time!
A great step toward fruitarianism is to serve your family fruit only until noon.
Make fresh fruit juices, banana smoothies, fruit salads, whatever sounds fun.
Every morning when my children and I enjoy our fruit meal in the bath tub,
we discuss our dreams of the night before and we give gratitude for our life
and for upcoming events, all the while watermelon juice is running down our
arms. Mornings are such a precious time anyway, which makes
incorporating the Paradise diet that much easier.
As time goes on, extend your fruit meals beyond noon. From there, offer
your family a beautifully arranged vegetable platter with avocado dip. As
evening approaches, minimize the consumption of processed food by first
serving a huge salad, and then a plentiful supply of slightly-steamed
vegetables. Or, better yet, combine the cooked food right into a huge,
luscious living salad. The key to success is massive raw foods action. In
time, the rest will take care of itself.
It is only fitting to end this chapter with a momentous event that took place
in my home a few days ago. While sitting on the floor with my family and
enjoying the sweet, buttery taste of avocados my twelve-year-old daughter,
Sarah Lee who had climbed at great height to pick from a nearby tree
smiled in satisfaction and said, "I'm glad we eat the way we do, so we can
appreciate what we eat."
NATURAL HYGIENE. ..Human Intelligence At Its Finest
The basic foundation of natural hygiene is that the body is always striving
for health and it achieves this by continuously cleansing itself of deleterious
This explains why the best foods for both nurturing and cleansing the body
are raw fruits. These high-water content, vitamin-rich, mineral-laden meals
pick up where breastmilk leaves off when it comes to feeding the body's
cells including those more than twenty five million brain cells that make up
our specie's survival organ.
Simply put, we think and function better when partaking of such a hygienic
food as breastmilk and delicious fruit. Our brains receive everything
necessary to maintain this complex intelligence site that is one of the most
highly developed among any species.
It is our brains that make our decisions, and a clear-headed human makes
for better decision-making. A primal mother doesn't accept the advice and
opinions of others but rather, she looks deeply into everything that caresses
her primal intellect while questioning anything that does not resonate with
her maternal soul. I love what Marilyn and Harvey Diamond say in their
brilliant best-seller. Fit For Life. .."It is time to take control and responsibility
back from those who are arguing about who has the right answer."
According to the United States Surgeon General, of the 2.1 million
Americans who die each year, 1.5 million, 68% die from diet-related
disease. ..specifically heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Still, people prefer to
believe they are hit by a disease rather than assume responsibility for their
condition of ill health. Even the doctors on whom society depends cannot
save themselves from the consequences of the standard American diet. As
reported by Laura Kaplan Shanley in her masterpiece Unassisted Childbirth,
"Physicians have an intellectual understanding of the process of digestion,
yet it doesn't prevent them from having one of the highest ulcer rates of
any profession." In fact, the leading prescription drug in this country is for
stomach disorders, and a large percentage of our population actually needs
assistance from a laxative to have a bowel movement!
Society has such an obsession with food and with using the mouth as an
entertainment device there seems to be widespread denial when it comes to
acknowledging any correlation between what we eat and our level of health.
Our epidemic rates of eating disorders that lead to obesity, malnourishment,
and every other disease you can imagine parallels the fact that our culture
represents a few generations of non-breastfed people. Perhaps a lack of
satiation at the breast during infancy and early childhood leaves the adult
human grappling chronically and hopelessly to satisfy an oral need. This,
on top of eating foods that are not only devoid of the nutritional elements
found in fruit but also brimming with toxicity, creates a sick society.
Denial dies hard. Most people still prefer to believe they have been "bit by
the bug" rather than accept the stronger probability that it was what they bit
into that caused their health problems, exacerbated by the fact that they
were not breastfed in their infancy and early childhood. Computer language
calls it the GI-GO factor... garbage in, garbage out. What we eat does affect
every aspect of our health.
Disease is what we feel when the body is in the process of healing itself.
Healing is the process of neutralizing and eliminating accumulated toxins and
repairing damaged structures and cells. And the symptoms represent our
body's intelligent avenues for removing those toxins from our system.
Natural hygiene is a nutritional science that places health responsibility
squarely on the shoulders of each and every adult who, in turn, becomes a
role model to the children in their lives. Natural hygiene blasts away at our
complacency, our personal lethargy that leads us around as if we are
tethered to the latest nutritional theory discharged by the food and drug
administration. Thinking for ourselves and believing in our choices is the
mark of a sovereign soul. To become a "Siddhartha" in our own lives is
the greatest gift we can give to ourselves, and a most necessary role model
of self-sufficiency for our children.
Like primal mothering, natural hygiene is not something we learn but rather,
it is something we remember. The information lives inside our cells.
Human beings are perfect self-healing organisms. All of the wisdom and
instructions for self-healing are encoded in our genes. True knowledge is
available not only to the literate; true knowledge resides within our very
The dismissal of social beliefs within the context of our own minds is a
challenge that we must take on. This exorcism of social thought demands
confidence in ourselves, a characteristic seldom developed when we have
spent most of our lives listening to and believing in the messages rendered
by the patriarchal likes of politicians, popes, physicians, and pharmaceutical
giants. It takes perseverance to break past these barriers that have been
designed to keep us at bay from our primal intellect. All the self-doubt that
arises, all the criticism we face, it's enough to make any truth-seeker
frustrated and in jeopardy of giving up.
When we avoid the cleansing benefits of breastfeeding and a natural diet,
and instead feed our children mostly cooked and processed food they tend
to suffer from such maladies as colic, ear infections, asthma, congestion,
dental caries, tonsilitis, and other childhood complications. Those youngsters
who do manage to get past childhood without bothersome illnesses may be
met later in life with the more chronic levels of toxicosis that result in
cancer, heart disease, arthritis, etc.
In the case of illness (toxicosis, to be exact), removing toxins from our
system is an easy process that includes a combination of high fruit intake,
occasional fasting, and exercise. As a nursing mother, I adopt an
occasional fast that involves the use of watermelon juice rather than just
water because I need to maintain my milk supply and my physical energy.
Detoxification symptoms often include physical exhaustion, coated tongue,
foul breath, body odor, fever, elimination of mucus, loose stools, vomiting,
and aching muscles. Since my milk supply reflects the busy elimination
process going on in my own body, my breastfed babies may experience
detoxification symptoms right along with me. That's OK. I'd rather share
the discomfort of detoxification now than play resident host to future disease
for both me and my children.
Children detoxify beautifully on fruit juices. You've noticed how children lose
their appetite when they feel sick. Sips of water or juice are their only
request. That's because they are adhering to their primal urge to fast; they
are listening to their cellular knowledge, in modern terms referred to as
While doing my doctoral internship at a fasting retreat in Texas, I observed
the natural course of detoxification in the cases of several children who
were under my care. Rather than encourage a water fast I simply offered
them as much juicy fruit (oranges, grapes, watermelon) as they wanted -
and no other foods. Within a few days of eating fruit and playing hard,
their little bodies began to harness energy for cleansing that had, before
they arrived, been used for the digestion of cooked starches, animal
products, and processed foods. They lost all interest in eating, slept most
of the day and all through the night, and exhibited such detoxification
symptoms as fever, nausea, runny nose, diarrhea, and vomiting. After a
few days of this intense elimination they slowly showed interest in sips of
freshly-squeezed orange juice and, before long, they were back outside
jumping and hollering and hanging from tree limbs calling out for bananas.
intelligence had allowed nature to run her course.
Nature has a health plan for women that in no way reflects the present
assault on our mothering organs. Breast cancer and pelvic problems have
become an epidemic for the modern female. Because the body intelligently
stores toxins in those organs least likely to cause immediate death (as
opposed to the heart or brain, for instance), breasts and sexual organs are
generally utilized for the temporary storage of toxins.
When we ovulate each month and no pregnancy ensues, the uterus then
sloughs off the endometrial lining. The degree of bleeding during this
sloughing off period is directly proportional to the accumulation of toxins in
this bodily region. It is no secret that vegetarian women bleed less during
menses than those who eat animal products, while physically active fruitarian
women bleed little or not at all.
When we use our breasts for their biological function our breasts are not
stagnant and therefore toxins don't get an opportunity to build up. This fact
is clearly indicated by studies showing breast cancer to be nearly non-
existent among women who breastfeed for two years or more. The longer
they nurse, the lower the incidence of breast cancer. A case in point...
Thirty years ago my mother who bottlefed her children wore bandages on
her surgically removed once-breast area of her chest to catch the oozing
toxins, while today I am breastfeeding and wearing folded-up bandanas to
soak up the over-flowing milk supply of one breast while nursing with the
other breast. My mother died from toxicosis (breast cancer) at the age of
thirty-six. I am enjoying superb health at the age of forty-four... thanks to
fruitariansm and over a decade of breastfeeding my young.
We DO have control over our family's health. Diseases don't strike us, they
grow inside of us in direct proportion to the types of foods we eat, the
emotions we choose to nurture, the amount of exercise we get, the stress
levels we experience, the relationships we attract, and the belief systems we
embrace. Every day new designer drugs, and interventive medical
procedures accompanied by - you guessed it - more new designer drugs
arrive on the medical scene to further whisk our symptoms under the rug,
side-stepping the true issue. ..the source of our malady.
Drugs interfere with the body; that's why they have side effects.
Vaccinations are a perfect example of this brutal reality. For hours and
even days after our babies have been stabbed by a stranger in white, our
babies exhibit severe symptoms of detoxification, especially fever and
vomiting. The intelligence of their little bodies is trying desperately to
remove the foreign and dangerous intruder.
When my first-born Sarah Lee was just two months old, I obediently brought
her in for the beginning of her youthful round of immunizations. The
moment the intrusive needle went into her leg and a tremendous scream left
her lungs I knew that this was wrong. Prior to that moment I claimed
ignorance and I certainly didn't know I had a choice in the matter. I
grabbed her away from the nurse and ran out the door. This horrible
experience sent me reeling into research and I soon learned that the
vaccination movement is a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical gold-mine.
By now you must be getting the message that the owners of this lucrative
and ludicrous pharmaceutical empire are in all reality the pimps who keep
their prostitute physicians filling out those prescription pads and telling
mothers what horrible nightmares might happen if they don't follow doctor's
They don't mention the fact that cancer rates among children have
skyrocketed since vaccinations have come on the scene, nor do they share
the true nightmares that have taken place in the lives of many children just
days after receiving a vaccination.
I knew a mother who continued taking her child to receive his vaccinations
despite the fact that her intuition was screaming NO!!! She now has a
severely brain-damaged son. His body worked so hard to rid itself of the
toxic ingredients of that shot that the fever ended up frying his brain. Now,
at eight years of age he endures countless grand-mal seizures on a daily
basis, cannot speak, cannot control his bladder or bowels, and must be fed
because he doesn't have the capacity to hold a spoon.
She's not the only mother who has cried out in despair at the damage
done to her vaccinated child...
Richelle, after receiving shots at six months old went into shocl<-lil<e behavior
within ten hours of injection followed by a grand mal seizure with severe
diarrhea and respiratory arrest. She is now severely mentally and physically
Mark, after receiving shots at four months old began projectile vomiting,
staring, and behavior changes within 12 hours of injection. He died within
Sean, after receiving shots at 8 months old began having reactions within 3
hours; swelling at the site of the injection, high-pitched screaming, projectile
vomiting, diarrhea, and behavior change. He now has a learning disability
with severe motor damage.
Christopher, after receiving shots at two months of age began reacting within
2 hours, starting with high-pitched screaming. After short periods of sleep,
interrupted by high-pitched screaming, he died 21 hours from the moment he
Anna, after receiving shots at 15 months of age, was limping within two
days. Over the next two weeks she stopped walking, developed unusual
cold symptoms, a 102 degree fever, and was irritable, wanting to be held
constantly. Over the next six weeks, she became totally paralyzed. At
eight years of age, Anna cannot walk independently, remains paralyzed in
her lower body, and has processing delays.
Ashley, after receiving shots at 18 months old, began reacting within 72
hours with a 103 degree fever and lethargy. She was hospitalized with
kidney failure and encephalitis. She is now severely mentally and physically
Kimberlie, after receiving shots at 2 months of age began reacting within 3
hours with a 103 degree fever, high-pitched screaming, and convulsions.
She died of cardiac arrest shortly thereafter.
Joshua, after receiving shots at 6 months old began reacting within 6 hours
with high-pitched screaming, did not want to be held, a 101 degree fever
followed by a one hour grand mal seizure. Today he lives with moderate
to severely mental retardation and severe language delay.
We have been conditioned to vaccinate our children and, at intervals, are
informed by the public health department of yet another "necessary" vaccine
for our little ones. Like obedient robots, most mothers show up just when
their children turn the age that the pimp (pharmaceutical industry) told the
prostitute (physician) to dictate a mother's participation.
Don't let the disguise of professionalism fool you. And don't let their
statistics persuade you into thinl<ing your child is better off being immunized,
regardless the risks. When sad stories like those above happen to YOUR
child, the risks are 100%!
When I get letters like the one below, I am scared for the children who
depend solely on a mother who is not in her primal power...
"Do you think I need to know a lot about the vaccines and the dangers,
etc? I know vaccines are bad in my heart, but what to say to someone
who thinks they stop death, doesn't that say something, or are they just
dying of cancer instead? How sad, if this is so! But, would just as many
have died of these diseases is the question. I need to take my baby back
for her next shots in less than two months."
If our hearts say NO, that's good enough. Mother hearts don't lie. They
only cringe when not listened to; and everyone suffers as a result.
While on the subject of women acting lil<e robots, circumcision is still raking
in the dough while raping our sons of their foreskin. And don't think that
the only money to be made is in the barbaric procedure itself. The sale of
foreskins for the purpose of skin graphs is a multi-million dollar business!
One day a woman called me to vent her anger. After much argument with
her husband, she finally gave up in the defending of her newborn son.
She sat in the waiting room and cried the whole time her son was in the
other room, strapped down and screaming while some stranger took a knife
to his penis. When I asked her why she allowed this nightmare to occur
she immediately came to the defense of her husband saying, "What could I
do? It's HIS child, too."
I'm here to defend men in their right to be whole, and I don't want to hear
any religious doctrine that blesses such a barbaric act. We must tackle
ourselves where we least want to look - into our views about religion and
how we are literally shackled to the past and to the rules which continue to
be played out from one generation to the next. My dear Jewish friend
Lauera Kaplan Shanley, author of Unassisted Childbirth, has something
important to say on this subject:
"I am so offended by circumcision that it is difficult for me to even write
about it. On any given day thousands of men will meet in support groups
to vent their anger over having been circumcised without a choice in the
matter. Over one third of the active members of the anti-circumcision
movement are Jewish. On any given day at least one hundred routine
infant circumcisions will result in complications, irreversible surgical trauma,
penile loss or even death. I have no problem with Jews circumcising their
own as long as the 'circumcisee' is a consenting adult. A week old infant
is not a consenting adult. Religious freedom is not about inflicting your
beliefs on others, regardless of whether or not the other is your child.
Children grow up to be adults, and many, many Jewish men are angry that
they were circumcised in the name of religion.
For those who say a Jewish circumcision is more humane because the child
is held by loved ones and given wine to drink, Jody McLaughlin who is the
editor/publisher of Compleat Mother magazine replies.
"Are you telling me that it is more humane to be hurt in the presence of
those who supposedly love and care about you? Are you saying that it is
more humane if a child's first sexual experience involving another human
being is associated with blood, pain, and alcohol?"
As shocking as it may be to our western minds, little girls in other societies
are routinely forced into a different form of circumcision - female
clitorectomies. While the western world is condoning male circumcision with
the excuse of cleanliness, other cultures are cutting out the clitoris of each
and every young girl, assuring death to the power of female sexual
pleasure. I am eternally grateful to organizations such as The Intact
Network who work to save infants and children from the pain, torture, and
destruction of genital mutilation. We need to stop the horror of sexual
mutilation wherever it occurs on our planet.
It seems only fitting that we should next touch on the subject of sexuality.
One aspect of the anger that is addressed in support groups comprised of
circumcised men is sexual sensitivity. Their non-circumcised counterparts
are enjoying a level of sexual pleasure unknown to victims of the knife.
The foreskin acts as both lubricant and masseuse during intercourse,
creating a highly stimulating sensation. As a mother, I can attest to this
difference between circumcised and non-circumcised males because my
three-year-old intact son absolutely loves pulling and stretching his foreskin,
a gleeful pride in his eyes and a smile on his face. I don't see this self-
nurturing behavior in the lives of toddler victims of circumcision.
Circumcision is a primal wound that changes the course of a life. This
crime, together with denial of the breast and separate sleeping quarters
defines the initial sexual experience for a huge percentage of our society's
population. Pornography is that party called together; the walking wounded
who, addicted to eagle-spread models in magazines search out the womb
where everything was once just fine; the walking wounded who, starved of
the sweet warmth of a mother's breast stare dreamily at the sight of
cleavage; the walking wounded who, frustrated at their inability to know
intimacy have sex with strangers who will only do it for pay; the walking
wounded who, angry and anxious for the hatred they feel rape and kill
women and children.
Never underestimate the deep scars of sexual dysfunction. Indeed, these
wounds have changed the course of many lives. And it is the purpose of
this book to begin licl<ing those wounds that they may heal, lighting the way
for a new direction and a humane new world.
True intimacy allows us to be ourselves completely: the screaming infant
who demands to be held, the nursing babe whose eyes melt dreamily into
his mother's soul, the defiant toddler who angrily defends her perception of
life. If we can't be ourselves on all other fronts, how can we suddenly
awaken to teaching a lover what we sexually need?
It only makes sense that the more physically fit we are, the more we can
enjoy our sexuality. My sexual nature is greatly animated when I am
feeling good about my body. When I like what I see about myself, it is
easier for me to recognize the attraction my partner is feeling towards me.
Fitness comes from the combination of diet and physical activity. While
fruitarianism offers us reprieve from unwanted weight-gain, physical activity
guarantees the sculpting of our natural beauty.
Physical activity is cumulative. Every task we perform and every movement
we make can have a beneficial effect on our overall health. Given the
typically busy life of a mother, it is vital we incorporate physical activity so
our personal needs are met in the context of daily life.
Throughout my first pregnancy I swam and jogged daily. When Sarah Lee
was born I brought her into the pool and by one week of age she was
resting on my upper back, clinging to my hair while I swam laps. When I
jogged, she slept blissfully in the baby sling. Becoming a mother to three
posed a new challenge for my exercise regime. I invested in both a jogging
stroller and a child bike-cart. With baby Matthew in the back-pack, toddler
Jasmine in the jogging stroller, and big sister Sarah Lee sporting her pink
roller skates, I ran several miles each day. Since I elected not to own a
car in the first year of being a mother to three I relied heavily on my bike
and child bike-cart. All three of my children fit comfortably in the front of
the cart, and I had space enough in the back to accommodate children's
bool<s from the library, produce from the health food store, or whatever else
we needed to bring on home.
I love sharing my fitness program with my children. When we're not riding
bikes or jogging together, then it's dancing and gymnastics. Every night we
practice our hand-stands, stretch out, do yoga, and dance to our favorite
tunes. As babies, all of my children have especially loved for me to dance
while they were snugly tucked into their Cozy Cradle baby sling.
At night, when my children are asleep I top off my day with a session of
dancing, jogging on my bouncer, and a few yoga stretches. This nocturnal
ritual in self-nurturing is my way of saying good-night to another beautiful
day of loving myself, raising my children, and fulfilling my responsibility as a
woman who cares deeply about the fate of humanity.
HOMESCHOOLING... Befriending our Blossoming Children
"Doing all day what they love
lets them become their true selves."
Richard Bach, Johnathan Livingston Seagull
While watching another glorious Hawaiian sunset, with Matthew leaning over
my shoulder from his snug place on my back and Jasmine enjoying each
push of the swing we all counted to one hundred - that's homeschooling.
After we got home I read several stories to my three beautiful children -
that's homeschooling. This morning greeted Sarah Lee with the responsibility
of taking care of her horse - that's homeschooling. And they all pitched in
with household chores - that's homeschooling.
I love to homeschool! It's so simple and so rewarding, as is natural
hygiene, fruitarianism, breastfeeding, bonding, primal birthing, and self-
Given the fact that our brain is the survival organ for the human species, it
isn't surprising that our children are like thirsty sponges soaking up
everything going on around them. ..which is exactly why I find it so important
to surround my children with only the best. And I happen to think the best
is in the home of our very own family, where they are embraced throughout
the day by the people who love them the most.
History is stacked with many great minds who were nurtured in the privacy
of their own homes by parents who themselves were without a formal
education. Just to name a few who have reached their full potential as a
result of bypassing the public education experience. ..John Quincy Adams,
Pearl S. Buck, Winston Churchill, Sandra Day O'Connor, Isadora Duncan,
Albert Einstein, Patrick Henry, Margaret Mead, General George Patton,
Astronaut Sally Ride, Theodore Roosevelt, Leo Tolstoy, George Washington,
Daniel Webster, Alexander Graham Bell, Agatha Christie, Noel Coward,
Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Douglas MacArthur, Wolfgang Mozart,
William Penn, Franklin Roosevelt, George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain,
Martha Washington, and John Wesley.
There are as many approaches to homeschooling as there are families
practicing this alternative path of education. Many organized religions have
entire homeschooling programs which include textbooks and regular testing
for determining progress, as well as private education institutes which offer
home study courses. Because these alternatives to public education tend to
emulate more the scheduling of compulsory curriculum than the freedom to
learn, I don't feel that they create the necessary mood for true self-
I am of the "free-lance educator" variety. My children and I work together
to create avenues for learning that are mutually satisfying. We use our
local public library on a regular basis and always find answers to our most
recent burning questions. We have so much fun as a homeschooling family
that neighbors have gone so far as to call Child Protective Services
because, according to these skeptics my children couldn't possibly be getting
a proper education, what with all the free time they have on their hands.
Isadora Duncan, the founder of modern dance was once quoted as saying,
"It seems to me that the general education a child receives at school is
absolutely useless." Isadora began teaching dance to neighbor kids by the
tender age of six and by age ten, after convincing her mother that school
was a complete waste of time, fully embraced her role as a dancer and a
revolutionist. She owed it to the heroic and adventurous spirit of her
mother that her vision of dance was not stifled, as it surely would have
been in the time constraints and conservative personality of general
Free time is tine single most important aspect to homescliooling! I teacli my
cliildren to value their time to the extent that they are responsible for what
goes into a given hour, day, week, month, year, and lifetime.
Homeschooling allows a family to clarify their values, then live up to those
values, unimpeded by the ignorance which drives the public sector. It must
be quite confusing, for instance, for a vegetarian child to be given ethical
and health reasons not to eat meat while the teachers and school textbooks
discuss animal products as a necessary part of nutrition.
My favorite component of homeschooling lies in the act of family
involvement. Responsibility to one another and the daily contribution to
growth and maintenance of our family system imparts great opportunities for
my children to feel important and valuable. The family-oriented societies in
our world today, untainted by the formal schooling mentality, enjoy a much
higher level of sibling symbiosis by virtue of the fact that older children are
given much responsibility toward their younger sisters and brothers. There
is not the age discrimination often found as early as age five and even
younger, where schools organize pupils according to age, and a cultist
attitude culminates as a result of reduced exposure to and tolerance for
children of other, especially younger, ages. According to anthropologist
Margaret Mead, "one of the most serious deprivations in our culture is that
children so rarely have the opportunity to care for smaller children. Thus
they do not learn the ingredients of nurturing to prepare them to be parents
when their time comes."
Family responsibility includes management of home, health, and finances.
Helping with household chores is a wonderful way to bring about feelings of
belonging and value into the lives of our children. Helping them to embrace
and appreciate the gentle, nurturing qualities of fruitarianism ensures their
un-defiled childhood and a superbly healthful future. Helping our children
understand regular and consistent financial outlays will contribute to their eye
for realism so that they may recognize consumerism from a standpoint of
efficiency, sequencing, and the power of choice, and not to be left to "want
it all" with no way of knowing how to make that happen. We can teach
our children to use their intuition along with their intellect when making
Once again, as was plainly seen in the chapter on bonding, the challenge
of togetherness arises. Homeschooling is a lifestyle of daily contact. Home
businesses are great because our children can partake of the responsibilities
and rewards of our family's financial independence. I think it's wonderful for
our children to observe the dynamics of earning a living. In a society
where private business is available for reaping the rewards of financial
independence, it's fun to watch our children get the hang of earning a living.
Entrepreneurship is a learned behavior requiring motivation and discipline.
Promoting our service or product, replenishing our supplies, and managing
our profits are lessons which can begin with something so simple as a
Through us, our children can learn the many ways to make ends meet.
For instance, the beauty of bartering. Public school economics classes do
not teach our children how to trade anything but money. While at a
second-hand store Sarah Lee, who was eight years old at the time fell in
love with a bike which cost $75.00. I didn't have enough money and told
her that if she really wanted the bike, I trusted that she would figure a way
to generate her own determination. I left her in deep thought and went
about my business of shopping. Several minutes later I saw her talking
with the store manager. They motioned me over.
It turned out that my determined daughter struck up a deal whereby she
could take the bike home now, and contribute her time helping at the store
to the tune of $4.00 an hour until the bike was paid off. Sarah Lee
triumphantly wheeled that lavender bicycle with the unicorn banana-seat out
the front door as I walked behind her in awe and respect.
Sarah Lee was just a few months old when I first read about
homeschooling. The idea of keeping my child at home made so much
sense to the primal mother in me I didn't question it for a moment. Still, I
How could I possibly be able to teach my children what teachers spend four
years in college learning to teach? My degree in Sociology hardly rendered
me eligible for teaching the likes of reading, writing, and arithmetic! My
funny-bone was struck while asking that question, as it suddenly occurred to
me that before a child reaches kindergarten their parents have successfully
taught them to speak and comprehend one or more languages, to count, to
use silverware, to dress, to use the potty, to swim, to ride a bike, to roller-
skate, to share with friends, to enjoy story-time, even how to tie their shoe
I was fast becoming convinced that, with little effort, I could include the 3
R's into my parenting repertoire. I had no idea just how little effort it would
take! By reading to my daughter every day - pointing to each word as I
read - she soon developed a sense of association and to my complete
surprise, while riding at the back of the town bus at the curious age of six,
Sarah Lee proudly and loudly sounded out each and every profane word
inscribed across the metal backing of the seat directly in front of us. As
she gleefully asked if she got the words right I vacillated between parental
pride and public embarrassment. Everyone on the bus turned to glare at
the cussing child sitting next to me. They had no idea what an honor this
was, to be inadvertently invited to my little girl's first reading recital!
The most popular criticism against homeschooling has to do with the issue
of socialization. It is believed that socialization skills can only develop in a
school setting. My children have been socializing with me since their days
of preconception, and socializing with each other from birth on. Where do
people get this notion that the steady dose of a large group of people
makes for a better social human? On the contrary, intimacy is the
foundation of loving socialization and the close, consistent, and nurturing
contact between family members. Making love successfully does not require
an orgy background, and socialization development is not defined by
crowded classrooms and concrete courtyards.
The natural unfolding of our children is often violated by the academic
assumptions and expectations of our culture. In Joseph Chilton Pearce's
book The Magical Child he delivers to us a far more humane approach to
meeting the educational needs of our young, simply by recognizing the
natural unfolding of the human brain and the necessary pre-requisite know
Play, which is the child's greatest intelligence, develops in the very act of
being played with. Telling them stories, singing songs to them, twirling them
about, chasing waves together along the ocean's shore, and giving children
of all ages the freedom to play together all day long, not just when some
authority figure sounds a bell and dismisses them to fifteen minutes in a
concrete setting. ..these are the ingredients of play.
When children awake in the morning, the first thing they want to do is pick
up where they left off the night before and play, play, play. Getting ready
for a school-bus denies them this biological decree. Instead, along with the
overwhelming majority of children in society, with a few early morning
violence-oriented cartoons accompanied by a huge bowl of sugary cereal,
they head out to catch a ride away from a day otherwise designed by
nature to be mostly about play.
MOTHER AND CHILD REUNION.. .Our Only Ticket Home
"The only thing that shatters dreams is compromise."
Seventy percent of all American children under age four are in daycare.
One million children a year are hospitalized for brutal beatings by their
parents or caretakers. Five thousand are killed outright between the ages
of two weeks and two years by their parents. One out of three children
under the age of sixteen are sexually molested. The United States has the
highest teenage suicide rate in the world.
And the primal mother is accused of being over-protective! We must
ALWAYS be in a protective mode with our children. Paranoia is a primal
thing, and it's the ONLY thing we have to go on - unless, of course, we
want to wait until there is enough evidence to prove our children are being
hurt behind our backs. By then, the damage has been done, the trust level
in our child has diminished, and we are left with feelings of remorse.
It's not easy for women to rear up and growl back at a patricarchal and
medical empire that is temporarily in control. I say "temporarily" because
the only hope for humanity is the restoration of collective feminine wisdom
and maternal strength. When the men (partners, preachers, physicians,
principles, etc.) in our lives challenge our mothering instincts, it becomes our
task to muster up the courage necessary to defend the innate rights of our
Many women are struggling just to stay alive inside domestic violence, and
have no energy left to defend their children against the same. Every year
thousands of women die at the hands of their lovers. Women who are
caught in this trap live between the extremes of running away with their
children and returning to the scene of the crime. Statistics show that
women tend to leave an average of eleven times before finally getting out,
dead or alive. Their children witness this horrendous behavior and
assimilate it as the norm. Little chance do they have of creating a life
different than what they have endured. Girls grow up to be subservient,
and that stance of subservience brings out the bully in the men they attract.
And the vicious cycle carries itself into yet another generation.
As primal mothers, we have the grand opportunity to be a role model of
strength for our children, not a role model of submission. The only authority
in our mothering career lives inside the messages dictated by our hearts.
Question all others who claim authority, and stop questioning the true
authority which makes no claims. It knows. Just like an elephant doesn't
need to question its massive strength, neither do we need to question the
value of information emanating from our hearts.
Primal mothering is non-negotiable. It just is. When we hear ourselves
say, "I'd love to, but my husband..." we need to stop long enough to
remember exactly who we are in the life of our children. We are the she-
bears with biologically directed orders. We are the drivers of this vehicle
called the human experience. We are the solution to this sad world. And
right now we need to plunge in and protect our children from drowning in a
sea of social neglect, domestic violence, educational brain-training, and
If your religion tells you that that man is the head of the household, then
you better start questioning your religion. Males have their part to play in
it, but decision-making needs to be up to women. These are our children,
born of our womb from eggs we were born with. Our children deserve no
less than what nature planned for them - a primal mother who listens to the
dictates of her heart.
If your employer tells you that you can't return with your newborn, challenge
such rhetoric. Women have brought humanity through infinity with children
in tow. No job is impossible to the woman who commits to primal
Joseph Chilton Pearce pleads, "Women need to take their newborns into the
workplace. We need women's base intelligence in every walk of life."
We may need to shake up our external world in order to maintain vigilence
to our inner call. I have been called a martyr, and I can see now that I
am. According to Webster's dictionary, a martyr is a person who willingly
suffers death rather than renounce her religion. My religion is primal
mothering and, yes, I would suffer death rather than renounce the rights of
Truth is an extremist, and clarity regarding that truth creates power. It is
true that an emphasis on the male has imbalanced our society and, if we
want to change the course of humanity, our point of power is NOW.
I AlVI WOMAN.. .Hear Me Roar
"Females have just as much intellect as males, but their tendency is toward
predominance of the intelligence of the heart, which works for the well-being
and continuity of the species. It's a deep and kind of unknown, almost
mysterious thing, which worries males."
Joseph Chilton Pearce
We can comb through the history books in search of the roots to female
oppression, but precious time would slip by. And this world cannot afford to
lose any more time. The bigger picture will present itself as we go along.
For now, our job is to take a look at where we are and do something
about getting to where we need to be.
We must stop perpetuating submissive females and oppressive males.
Instead of whining about the plight of our planet, we need to engage our
feminine power and enact change, beginning with our own family systems.
To whine is to side with powerlessness, to roar is to live from our primal
We can't save the world until we have first saved the very soldiers needed
to save the world - women. To bring the feminine touch back to humanity
is to bring humanity back to itself. It takes a lot of courage to heal from
submissiveness. It takes developing a belief in ourselves after generations
of genetic encoding that we are the inferior gender, incapable of making
valuable decisions. Keep in mind, it wasn't that many years ago when
women were not allowed to vote!
How interesting that the word "coddle" means to cool< in water just below
the boiling point. When we coddle the men in our lives, when we silently
go along with things that our heart is dead-against, we are creating
relationships that live just below the boiling point. Simmering turns to
resentment and the next thing we know, we are angry over the littlest
things. Many failed relationships have women admitting that they finally
reached their boiling point and men saying, "I don't know what happened!"
What happened is we didn't stand up for how we really felt. We allowed
ourselves to be lost in the confusion of agreeing for the sake of avoiding
confrontation. How can we step out of this submissive behavior? One step
at a time, remembering that the first step is always the hardest to take; it's
the leap of faith. Faith that we can make our lives better by virtue of
listening to our hearts.
The first step is to ascertain a level of safety in our home. If self-assertion
will be met with phsyical violence, then we may need to vote with our feet
and walk away. I walked away on the night of my four-year wedding
anniversary. My then husband decided to turn his nose up at my special
vegetarian dinner, leave our baby girl crying after him, and drive off with his
drinking buddies for a game of basketball and a night of partying. After
nursing Sarah Lee to sleep, I sat looking out at the late-night sky, knowing
this anniversary would end in the violence which always accompanied his
drinking bouts. I meditated deeply on my situation, then came to the
conclusion that I had no intention of enduring another miserable wedding
anniversary. At midnight, I packed my most valuable possessions, wrapped
sleeping Sarah Lee in a blanket and placed her in the car-seat, then drove
away from my marriage. My life could not truly begin until the nightmare
ended. My leap of faith that life could be better, if I only was willing to
take the plunge, taught me that a woman and children are better off in a
car contemplating their next step than in a home where fear runs the show.
Bringing our womanhood to the surface requires a dedication to the cause.
The world cannot heal without our complete womanhood. And our children
cannot be fully protected without the activated primal mother who lives inside
our complete womanhood. When we make this dedication to the cause of
becoming complete in our womanhood we are sometimes required to make
decisions contrary to emotional or financial convenience. Divorce is a reality
that many women face. I never thought it would be a part of my reality,
but then, I never realized the depth of responsibility which comes with
raising children whose primal needs are being met at every turn. I had no
idea all this mothering energy had previously been used to please a man.
Now the time had come for this man to be exactly that.. .a man, and not
another child who competed for my maternal energy.
How do we begin this process of transferring our energies back onto our
children? By first becoming presumptuous. Let's presume we are right
about what our mothering hearts are telling us. Let's presume men have
the strength to survive being challenged. Let's presume only good can
come from practicing primal mothering and living up to our total womanhood.
Next, let's get arrogant. According to Webster's dictionary, arrogance is self-
importance. Let's develop so much self-importance we can finally see how
important we are to the salvation of humanity.
Tonight, thousands upon thousands of our sisters are going to look into the
dying eyes of their starving children. It doesn't matter why. It only matters
that it is happening. It's time to change the channel on male-dominated
policical games and start solving serious roblems. It's time to start saving
women and children.
We need to continually express the compassionate, human side of ourselves.
We must develop the power to stop being small and selfish and make a
difference in the world around us. By small I mean we must stop acting
small in the face of such a large problem which humanity faces; by selfish I
mean we must think beyond the comfort zone of not rocking the boat inside
our own homes.
Global change begins at home. When we stand up for the rights of our
own children we are throwing a pebble into a mighty sea where latent
womanhood sleeps lightly, ready to wake up when enough sisters have said,
Dare to care. Our point of power is NOW!
SEVENTH GENERATION MOTHERING.. .Harvesting a New Humanity
"When I look into the future, it's so bright it burns my eyes."
An attitude of doom and gloom does not light the fire in our hearts. Yes,
we've strayed considerably from our human roots. No, we have not strayed
too far. Were that the case, dedicated primal mothers - warriors for this
wayward world - would not be bubbling up through the layers of social
To have a vision for humanity is to have an undying faith in our ability to
correct, knowing that our corrections will be pebbles rippling out and
reaching far into the future.
Sports teams are such a fine example of last minute corrections and the
powerful consequences that can follow. Many important games have been
won by teams who were behind just minutes before the whistle blew.
Having chosen an attitude of faith and fortitude, these team members re-
grouped and came bacl< stronger than ever. As primal mothers, that's what
we need to do.
AS yourself this question: If you had just five minutes to whisper into the
consciousness of humanity the most important "play" for winning re-entry to
Paradise, what words of wisdom would stream from your heart?
I love this question. It draws out a strength and compassion i me that is
magnanimous. The entirelty of this book represents my answer to
humanity's homecoming. But if I were in the huddle and had only five
minutes to encourage my team, this is the play I am calling out:
Begin at once to simplify your life in such a way that mother/child
togetherness is the cornerstone. Remove yourself from all submissive
behavior, including that which involves your lover, your relatives, the medical
industry, the food and drug administration, compulsory education, and
organized religion. Wrap your arms around your blossoming pregnant belly,
your newborn, your toddlers, your young children, your growing adolescents,
and your grandchildren. ..reminding them daily that nothing compares to the
joy of raising them into their own spiritual sovereignty. At night, while they
sleep in this bosom of maternal security, wrap your arms around yourself -
dear woman - and breathe in the fragrance of your own sacredness. Know
who you are and live that truth with every fiber of your being.
On-line support at myspace.com/hygeiahalfmoon or
firstname.lastname@example.org and by snail at 4025 West Campo Bello Drive
Glendale, AZ 85308. Voluntary donations greatly appreciated and can be
received through my sister Lisa Reeves at paypal email@example.com or
at the above snail address. Our Cozy Cradle baby sling can also be
ordered through Lisa.. .please include color choice, height, pre-pregnancy
weight and a donation of $1 1 .74 or more.